The Texas Railroad Commission (TRC) issued a complaint and offerof settlement to Mitchell Energy & Development alleging pasttechnical violations of drilling and completion rules. Thecomplaint involves 112 wells, all of which were drilled more than35 years ago. The TRC said the actual depth of the surface casingset in each well was shorter than the depth required by andreported to the commission. Mitchell said there is no evidence ofpollution from the wells.

“Since the wells were drilled so long ago, there’s no way toknow how these errors happened,” said Homer Hershey, Mitchellsenior vice president for production. “In all, we’ve drilled over4,000 wells in Texas over the last 50 years, and half are stillproducing today. Our policy has been and is to fully comply withall rules and regulations that apply to our operations.” Mitchellsaid it discovered the problem itself and brought it to the TRC’sattention in 1996. Only three of the wells listed by the commissionare among wells alleged to have caused groundwater pollution inNorth Texas. A jury in a Wise County court case found Mitchell hadnot contaminated water wells there.

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