The Texas Frack Anywhere Bill imposes a “commercially reasonable” test on any municipal oil and gas ordinance – such as a setback. The sponsors think that Dallas’s 1,500 foot setback is “too long” – when horizontal laterals in the Barnett Shale are up to a mile long, 5,280 feet. And the average spacing unit is a section, 640 acres. If the well pad is in the middle of the spacing unit, the lateral would be 2,640 feet long before it got to the boundary. In fact, the horizontal couldn’t be much less than 2,000 feet long in order to be worth drilling.
So the standard for a “commercially reasonable” setback – based on spacing unit sizes and the average lateral – is a lot more than 1,500 feet. Meaning Dallas’s 1,500′ feet setback is clearly “commercially reasonable” based on Barnett wells.
Maybe Dallas should increase its setback to make it even more “commercially plausible” to say a half mile, 2,640 feet.
Midland’s 500′ setback would not pass the proposed “commercially reasonable” test, since there are no laterals that short in Texas. 500 feet wouldn’t be worth a frack.
Whoever wrote this bill evidently spent some time at A&M – but probably did not pass freshman English. Or math.