For the second time in four months, Broome County, NY, legislators have voted against an application from Denver-based Inflection Energy to lease acreage for natural gas drilling. In a 10-3 vote late Thursday, the county's legislature killed an Inflection proposal to pay the county $2,250-2,750/acre to lease 3,200 acres for five years for gas drilling. A previous proposal, which would have paid $3,000/acre for 5,500 acres, was withdrawn by County Executive Barbara Fiala this summer after the legislature said it would not approve the plan. Inflection had removed from its proposal some Marcellus Shale acreage that includes county parkland or acreage adjacent to parkland. Both proposals offered a 20% royalty. A de facto moratorium on drilling in the state, which was put in place two years ago, remains in effect while the Department of Environmental Conservation reviews its permitting regulations (see Shale Daily, Oct. 13).
Grand Prairie, TX, which is in the Dallas area in the Barnett Shale play, has instituted a 180-day moratorium on new natural gas well drilling permit applications due to environmental and planning concerns, according to the city council there. The council plans to examine city ordinances dictating where wells can be placed. The city has about 60 active wells. At a recent Texas House Energy Resources Committee hearing in Fort Worth, TX, an energy attorney testified that Texas cities are adopting a patchwork of regulations that is impeding natural gas development (see related story).