A new twist has further clouded two drilling projects brought before the Middle Pecos Groundwater Conservation District last December by Micheal H. Luna and Christian and Marisol Kent.
Luna and the Kents sought permission to drill water wells on their 5-acre tracts, which are on a subdivision owners by Jerry Gordon.
The initial problem was that the Pecos County Water Control Improvement District #1 stopped permit water taps because its said its system is over capacity. When the parties sought permission from te MPGCD to drill water wells, they found out that drilling was only allowed on tracts larger than 10.01 acres.
In the latest twist, At the Jan. 21 MPGCD meeting, a representative for Mark Harral – who also owns property within District 1 – informed the board that Harral found that some of Gordon's subdivision is county subdivided, meaning that the Pecos County may own some of the land along a creek running through the subdivision and may need to meet to re-plat the subdivision or explore other options.
The land owners argued that the creek didn't run through the two properties in question, but the board decided there was too many unknowns for the it to make a decision.
As the MPGCD was left unable to take action until Harral's question is resolved by the county, it opted to table the permits.
“We need to sit on the sidelines and let that play out,” said water board lawyer Mike Gershon.
Luna and the Kents were again left with purchased property in which they cannot access water.
The matter has also been looked at by the Pecos County Commissioners Court and the Fort City Council, with the city offering to extend city water services to residents within the Pecos County Water Control Improvement District #1.
Neighbor Kirby Warnock spoke in opposition to drilling wells in that area.
“I ask this board to accept the mission it was tasked with and protect our groundwater by allocating it fairly as a shared resource,” he said “We’ve already seen what happened after our springs were dried up. If we lose our groundwater we will not be able live here at all.”
Board members Weldon Blackwelder and Allan Childs were not present.
In other news:
• The board updated their rules regarding public comment to bring them in line with state laws.
• A drilling permit for Judd Lee Chism was tabled until the February meeting as the board could not come to an agreement. Chism is requesting one well on 159.67 acres near the intersect of FM 1776 and Weatherby Road. “I do not expect much production in that area,” said Edwards. Chism said he wanted to use the water to sell to the oil and gas industry and have some farm land. The board disagreed on him using Pecos Valley Aquifer water to sell to the oil fields. The item will be heard again next month.
• Dustin Herschap was approved for a production permit for one well on 483.69 acres West of FM 1776 on Weatherby Road. This will be for industrial use out of the Pecos Valley Aquifer. This is an existing well that Herschap wants to use some of the water for the incoming solar field on his property.
The MPGCD meets on the third Tuesday of the month at 10 a.m. at 405 N. Spring Dr.
Permit granted for refinery
MMEX Resources Corp. was approved for its production permit for water at their site of a refinery in Pecos County.
The well is on 125.908 acres, 20 miles northeast of Fort Stockton off FM 1053.
It will yield 20 acre-feet for industrial use out of the Edwards-Trinity Aquifer.
“He's done everything he's required to do,” said General Manager Ty Edwards.
MMEX CEO Jack Hanks spoke to the board and gave an update on the crude installation unit that will handle 10,000 barrels a day.
“It's a simple refinery,” said Hanks.
Hanks said they are working through the financing phase and making progress.
He hopes to close out on the finances in the next quarter.