Following a mid-June spill of more than 2,300 gallons of chemicals, wastewater and drill “cuttings,” for which the Texas gas drilling company SG Interests was ordered on June 20 to shut down the well in question, drilling has resumed.

The well is located in the southernmost portion of the controversial Thompson Divide region, and following a brief interruption to clean up the spill, the company is back in business at the same well, according to an official with the U.S. Bureau of Land Management, which leased the site of the well to the company a decade ago.

But at least one local group, Wilderness Workshop of Carbondale, is questioning both the legality of the lease in question, and the motives of the company, which a workshop spokesman said might have been trying to get around federal leasing rules to hold onto the leases for certain parcels that otherwise might have expired.

SGI, founded in 1989 with drilling interests in Colorado, New Mexico and Texas, is one of two drilling companies, along with Ursa Resources, that have been locked in a public relations and legal battle for years over their plans to drill for natural gas in the Thompson Divide region near Carbondale.

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