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Inactive well to be plugged at TWU

Profile image for By Jenna Duncan
By Jenna Duncan

Site never produced after being drilled in 2003 on golf course

After sitting unused for more than 10 years, the sole gas well at Texas Woman’s University will be plugged and capped this month.

Endeavor Energy Resources, which owns the well, sent a representative to campus last week to start looking at the site and talking with administrators about the project, said Joe Standridge, TWU’s associate vice president of facilities management and construction.

In the next week, the energy company will fence off about 2 acres between the TWU Golf Course clubhouse and the facilities management and construction building, then add rock for a roadway. Then, the company will separate the remaining oil and water and dispose of it before plugging the well with concrete and capping it. Hopefully, it will be done before school starts Aug. 25, Standridge said.

The gas well was drilled in 2003, after the university signed a gas and mineral lease with NationsGas. The lease drew criticism because it was coordinated by then-president Ann Stuart’s husband, who worked for the university as an unpaid consultant and had ties to the oil and gas industry.

Gas drilling started in June 2003 and was concluded by the end of that month after the well did not produce any oil, according to records with the Texas Railroad Commission. While the gas contract had planned for a second well, it was never created.

To plug the well, Endeavor crews will extract any oil in the well. The oil and other impurities will be burned in an incinerator that is “like a huge barbecue pit on an 18-wheeler,” Standridge said. The water that is separated from the oil will be put in storage containers.

This could take hours or days, depending on how much oil is down there, said Standridge, adding that two people will be onsite constantly and TWU crews will also monitor the site.

“From a safety standpoint, we will monitor what’s going on with our safety officer on campus, but we don’t anticipate any danger,” he said.

JENNA DUNCAN can be reached at 940-566-6889 and via Twitter at @JennaFDuncan.