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Firm seeks Krum's water

Profile image for By Christian McPhate / Staff Writer
By Christian McPhate / Staff Writer

Oil, gas company wants millions of gallons for hydraulic fracturing

A Colorado oil and gas company has asked the city of Krum to sell it millions of gallons of water to use in its hydraulic fracturing operations, according to Gabe Johnson, city engineer.

Johnson said Vantage Energy Co. wants the city water for its drilling operations east of the Krum city limits. The company wants to start drilling sometime in December or early January, he said. Vantage is willing to pay a minimum amount of $200,000 for the water, Johnson added.

“It’s still under negotiation,” Johnson said.

The city could ask Vantage to offer a lump sum amount, and any additional money owed would be paid over the course of the 13-week period when the company plans to be drilling and fracking in the area. Vantage is asking for at least 50 million gallons of water, Johnson said.

Vantage plans to run 12-inch aluminum piping from a water pit located east of town, on land owned by Evelyn M. Barthold, west along FM1173 and north along Hopkins Road to tap into two fire hydrants on the north side of Radecke Road.

Johnson is working out the details of the water sale with Mayor Terrie Wilson and the city’s attorney, Lance Vanzant, before approaching the City Council with their recommendations.

Vantage has secured for oil and gas development approximately 37,000 acres in the Barnett Shale, including more than 22,000 acres in its primary development areas of Denton, Wise and Tarrant counties, according to its website.

According to the U.S. Drought Monitor, it’s an area currently experiencing extreme drought conditions.

Vantage’s request also comes at a time when a recent inspection by the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality found that Krum is 12 percent short of meeting residents’ water needs.

“It’s an arbitrary number,” said Mark Patterson, Krum’s public works director. “Krum isn’t running short of water. We just don’t meet the TCEQ’s criteria.”

Patterson plans to write a proposal for a new water well. The city has six wells providing 90 percent to 95 percent of the water for residents. The other 5 percent to 10 percent is supplemented by the Upper Trinity Regional Water District.

Patterson said the water the city sells to Vantage would be excess amounts residents normally don’t use in winter months.

“We told Vantage that if it rolls up into spring or summer, then we’re out. We can’t do it,” he said.

CHRISTIAN McPHATE can be reached at 940-566-6878.