Parker County commissioners authorized the sale of water from a well on the County Poor Farm to Devon Energy Monday. The company plans to use the water to frack newly drilled wells about a half mile from the site.
The action was approved 3-0, with Judge Mark Riley and commissioners George Conley and Craig Peacock voting in favor. Commissioners John Roth and Dusty Renfro were absent.
The Poor Farm is located about 2 miles south of I-20 along Tin Top Road; the frack site is west of Tin Top Road, north of Harmony Road.
In order to sell the water, the county declared it to be surplus in the motion.
The water will be sold at a price of $8.34 per 1,000 gallons — the same higher rate the City of Weatherford charges oil and gas industries for water, county attorney John Forrest said.
The motion authorizes Conley, the former owner of Conley Water Well Service, to read the meter regularly on behalf of the court.
Jim Bosley, of Devon Energy, said the company made the request because the county’s water well was close to the company’s drill site.
He said the company planned to purchase about 80,000 42-gallon barrels of water to frack the wells, some 3,360,000 gallons of water for about $28,000.
Bosley said the energy company would install temporary above ground pipeline to transport the water, routing it out the Farm’s gate, down the bar ditch and across a neighboring landowner’s property before reaching the culvert.
“We will be pumping water into a frack pond we have built, trying to fill it up,” he said.
Forrest noted that the pipeline delivery system would not generate more truck traffic on the road.
Responding to a question from Conley, Bosley assured the court that Devon would pick up all expenses for maintenance and repairs, including replacing the pump if necessary.
The water well on the County Poor Farm was first used for fracking in 2006, according to an article in the Democrat, when David H. Arrington Oil and Gas drilled three gas wells there, per a county lease agreement.
“It’s the only use that well has had,” Forrest said, “and there are no [other] plans for drawing down that water.”
Riley said later that the court would not have considered Devon’s request were the county still in severe drought conditions.
Bosley said it will be three to four weeks before the company can begin pumping the water. Devon must obtain permits from the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality and Precinct 3, where the farm is located. The company must also get permission from the landowner affected by the pipe crossing his or her land.