Press release from the City of Wellington
As you are aware, numerous citizens have come to City Hall looking for clarification to a rather ambiguous letter sent to them by MacDonald Land Services. Representatives of the company were present at the Council meeting last night and provided the following information:
1. The physical work of the seismic study has been completed by Dawson Geophysical in July, when survey crews canvassed the public right-of-ways throughout Wellington;
2. No ingress or egress to/from private property will be necessary because the physical work has been completed;
3. The permit mailed to all property owners in Wellington is required to allow TGS to view the mineral data obtained by the Dawson Geophysical seismic testing;
4. Signing the permit does not transfer ownership of minerals - it does allow TGS to view the mineral data;
5. Nobody can use the mineral data until the permit is signed;
6. While the original seismic survey occurred on public property, the seismic waves extend well past property lines, especially when the mineral signature comes from 5,000+ feet below the surface. It is this reason why private land owners within Wellington received this letter from MacDonald. They emphasized the oil companies want to see large areas of data to be sure mineral pockets are worth extracting;
7. This in no way allows oil companies to drill within the corporate limits of the City of Wellington. That will require separate City Council approval when (and if) the time comes;
Company representatives were questioned about the ambiguous nature of the letter. They said "ingress and egress" should be eliminated from the first paragraph. In addition, no time frame is specified and they said that is because the permit is only effective for this seismic activity. Any future activity would require a new permit. However, they said land owners can specify a time frame (i.e. one-year) and they would honor that. Any alterations to the permit must be dated and initialed by the property-owner.
Company representatives did stress the fact that, without signed permits allowing them to view mineral data from the seismic activity, the area will likely be abandoned, effectively eliminating future oil and gas exploration. This is simply because without the permits, the mineral data cannot be viewed. Without viewing the mineral data, too much uncertainty exists because the oil companies do not have the knowledge of where the oil and gas pockets exist. MacDonald does have a local office, located at 116 North Washington (immediately north of The Dore). Office hours are 8:00am to 5:00pm; their phone number is (620) 399-8117. Citizens are urged to contact the office with any questions or concerns they may have.