Texas Railroad Commission examiners have determined that a well operated by EnerVest Operating LLC likely did not contribute to a series of earthquakes in the state, mirroring a similar determination made on August 31 in a proceeding involving Exxon Mobil Corp. subsidiary XTO Energy Inc. (see our coverage of the XTO case here).
The September 10 EnerVest decision, like the earlier XTO decision, results from an order issued by the Commission directing EnerVest to show cause why its permit should not be revoked, following a study released by Southern Methodist University (SMU) researchers in April that concluded EnerVest’s well had contributed to several small earthquakes near towns atop the Barnett Shale. The examiners in the EnerVest case, Marshall Enquist, an administrative law judge, and Paul Dubois, the technical examiner, are the same individuals who decided on the XTO case.
The Commission will hold a public meeting at which commissioners will vote to adopt the examiner’s recommendation, but a date for that meeting has not been set. EnerVest and the Commission have fifteen days from the issuance of the proposal for decision to file exceptions to the examiners’ recommendations, and another ten days to file replies.