Commission Agenda Item No. 9
Presenter: Ted Hollingsworth

Action Item
Request for Pipeline Easement—Orange County
Gathering Line on the Lower Neches Wildlife Management Area
November 7, 2013

I.       Executive Summary:  Lake Ronel Oil Company requests an easement to cross the Adams Bayou Unit of the Lower Neches Wildlife Management Area (WMA) with a 4” natural gas gathering line.

II.     Discussion:  Lake Ronel Oil Company (LROC) operates three older gas-producing wells in the vicinity of the Adams Unit of the Lower Neches Wildlife Management Area (WMA).  LROC has recently completed seismic exploration over much of the region and anticipate drilling several more wells near the WMA in the future.  In anticipation of increasing production volumes, LROC proposes to replace older gathering lines and connect the existing and proposed new wells with a new 4” gathering line to be connected to the existing “Carnes” gas transmission line.

LROC’s proposed route for the new gathering line would cross roughly 3700’ (224 rods) of the WMA.  Staff continues to evaluate the proposal for alternative routes, installation methodologies and mitigation that would minimize impacts to fish and wildlife resources.  Upon a determination that impacts to the WMA have been minimized to the extent feasible, staff requests permission to begin the public notice and input process.

III.    Recommendation:  The staff recommends the Texas Parks and Wildlife Commission adopt the following motion:

“The Commission adopts the Resolution attached as Exhibit A.”

Attachments – 4

  1. Exhibit A – Resolution
  2. Exhibit B – Location Map
  3. Exhibit C – Vicinity Map
  4. Exhibit D – Site Map

Commission Agenda Item No. 9
Exhibit A

A Resolution by the Texas Parks and Wildlife Commission Regarding the Granting of an Easement Covering Approximately One Acre of Real Property in Orange County for a Natural Gas Gathering Line Crossing the Lower Neches Wildlife Management Area

Resolution

Whereas, Lake Ronel Oil Company (LROC) has requested an easement covering approximately one acre crossing the Lower Neches Wildlife Management Area (the WMA) in Orange County Texas (the Easement); and,

Whereas, LROC plans to construct a 4” diameter natural gas gathering line connecting local gas wells to a transmission line in Orange County, Texas; and,

Whereas, Texas Parks and Wildlife Department (TPWD) owns and operates the WMA for a variety of conservation and recreation values, including habitat for migratory waterfowl and a broad diversity of other native fish and wildlife resources; and,

Whereas, the Texas Parks and Wildlife Commission (the Commission) finds that as required by Parks and Wildlife Code, Chapter 26, notices of today’s hearing of this matter were published at least once a week for three consecutive weeks in newspapers of general circulation which are published at least six days a week in the communities nearest to the WMA in which such newspapers are published (Orange Leader in Orange County, and the Beaumont Enterprise in Jefferson County), with the last day of publication being not less than one week or more than two weeks before the date of today’s hearing and that such notices; and,

Whereas, staff of TPWD have worked with LROC to select a route and construction methodologies that will minimize impacts to both fish and wildlife resources; and,

Whereas, the construction of a pipeline within the easement is not expected to disrupt public hunting or other public recreation; and,

Whereas, LROC has provided evidence that alternate routes for the construction of the gathering line are not reasonable and prudent; and,

Whereas, LROC has agreed to compensate TPWD for the Easement and to undertake certain activities and certain mitigation measures to minimize the overall impacts of the Easement on the WMA, including directional drilling of the gathering line under the WMA with no appurtenances on the surface of the WMA; and,

Whereas, the Commission finds, in accordance with Parks and Wildlife Code, Chapter 26, that (1) there is no feasible and prudent alternative to the use or taking of such land (Easement);  (2) the program or project that requires the use or taking of land (Easement) includes all reasonable planning to minimize harm to the land (Easement); and,

Whereas, the Commission finds, in accordance with Section 13.009 of the Texas Parks and Wildlife Code that conveyance of the Easement subject to conditions that will minimize the overall impacts of the Easement on the WMA is in the best interest of TPWD; and,

Now, therefore, the Texas Parks and Wildlife Commission authorizes the Executive Director to take all necessary steps to negotiate terms and conditions under which an Easement may be granted, and to grant an Easement to Lake Ronel Oil Company, for the purposes and subject to the conditions described herein and in the motion approved in this Resolution.

Adopted and approved this 7th day of November, 2013.

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T. Dan Friedkin, Chairman

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Ralph H. Duggins, Vice-Chairman

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Roberto De Hoyos,  Member

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Dan Allen Hughes, Jr.,, Member

___________________________________
Bill Jones, Member

___________________________________
James Lee, Member

___________________________________
Margaret Martin, Member

___________________________________
S. Reed Morian, Member

___________________________________
Dick Scott, Member


Commission Agenda Item No. 9
Exhibit B

Location Map for Lower Neches WMA in Orange County

Location Map for Lower Neches WMA in Orange County


Commission Agenda Item No. 9
Exhibit C

Vicinity Map for Adams Unit Lower Neches WMA in Orange County

Vicinity Map for Adams Unit Lower Neches WMA in Orange County


Commission Agenda Item No. 9
Exhibit D

Site Map Adams Unit Lower Neches WMA Showing Route of Proposed Gathering Line

Site Map Adams Unit Lower Neches WMA Showing Route of Proposed Gathering Line


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