Gas Well Drilling

The City of Fort Worth reviews applications and issues permits for gas wells in city limits. Permit requirements regulate placement of wells that come near residences, religious institutions, hospitals, schools or parks; transportation routes for trucks and equipment; pipelines; and compressor stations and pad sites. View the full Gas Well Drilling Ordinance

For gas well status information, please view our interactive map.

View Gas Well map

Gas Pipeline Information

View the Natural Gas Permitted Pipeline Map

Protection of Trees Affected by Pipelines

As noted in the attached diagram(PDF, 136KB), roots of all tree species are generally contained to a depth of 18-inches where there is sufficient oxygen to sustain root growth. A very limited number of roots may extend beyond 18-inches, but any loss of roots beyond the 18-inch depth would have negligible impact on the safety and well being of the tree.

Under the city's tree ordinance, protection of the critical root zone for significant trees identified for preservation is required during all types of construction. The Critical Root Zone is defined as the radius of the area equal to 12 times the diameter at breast height (1”DBH = 1 foot).

As the city allows pipeline licenses through city-owned properties and begins allowing pipelines in the city's rights-of-way, the minimum depth will be three feet in accordance with the standards set forth by the Railroad Commission of Texas.

Note: If you are negotiating private easement agreements with a pipeline company, a few things to consider when discussing with the company, in addition to any other concerns you may have, are the width of the easement, the depth of the pipeline, the location of the easement, surface damages, and the use of the surface over the easement.


Related Links

Seismic Testing

Seismic testing uses sound technology to help locate formations containing natural gas buried deep within the earth without disturbing the surface. Seismic surveys have been completed in many Fort Worth neighborhoods since 2007.


Under regulations adopted in 2011, seismic operators must obtain a street-use permit and notify the city, affected school districts and homeowners associations 15-30 days in advance of testing. Affected property owners must be notified three to 10 days ahead of testing. Operators must describe the process of seismic surveying and testing and must provide:

  • When testing will start
  • Duration of testing
  • Telephone and email contacts for the contractor
  • A city contact and website address.

Seismic testing is allowed only from 7 a.m. to 6 p.m. Monday-Friday and 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. Saturday. Testing is not allowed on Sundays or city holidays.

View the Seismic Testing Guidelines for more information.

About Seismic Surveying and Testing

The first phase of this process is to conduct a 3D Seismic geophysical survey. Surveyors walk the area with a GPS locator in a backpack to identify locations to place receiver lines and source points. These locations will either be marked with a flag or spray paint mark in the easement or right of way.

Approximately two to four weeks later, you will see cable lines that usually run along the curb, geophones, and data boxes. The cable is approximately the size of a household extension cord.

Testing equipment is temporary – remaining in place for three to six weeks – and takes up minimal surface space. The cables, geophones, and data boxes carry no electrical current, and they do not penetrate the surface of the ground.

After testing equipment is in place, a seismic testing vehicle about the size of a large pickup truck will send a sound wave into the earth. Small vibrations may be felt and sound like construction is taking place nearby.

Gas Drilling Review Committee (GDRC)

The GDRC reviews all applications where a city council waiver is required, all applications that involve non-commercial truck routes, all applications for gas pipelines or gas pipeline facilities located in a private residential area and all applications for line compressor sites requiring rezoning to a "PD" Planned Development District.

Meeting is usually the last Thursday of every month at 3 p.m. in City Hall's City Council Conference Room, 200 Texas St.

Permit applications are available on request. Please contact the Gas Well Inspection Section for more information at 817-392-1427.


Gas Well Drilling Operators Contact Information


909 Fannin Street, Suite 2150

Houston, TX 77010

Phone: 281-786-0114


1910 Pacific Ave., Suite 5030                       

Dallas, TX 75201                                           

Phone: 214-919-2319



1209 County Road 1304

Bridgeport, TX 76426

Phone: 833-425-8677



5221 N. O’Connor Blvd. Suite 1100

Irving, TX 75039

Phone: 469-575-3800



1999 Bryan Street, Suite 900

Dallas, TX 75201

Phone: 214-979-1172



P.O. Box 160

Paradise, TX 76073

Phone: 972-788-2080



3500 Oak Lawn Ave

Dallas, TX 75219

Phone: 214-295-6704



6120 S. Yale Ave.

Tulsa, OK 74136

Phone: 918-900-6445


FINLEY RESOURCES INC                      

1308 Lake St., Suite 200                                

Fort Worth, TX 76102                                   

Phone: 817-336-1924



777 Main Street, Suite 3700

Fort Worth, TX 76102

Phone: 817-720-1100



8509 Western Hills Ave., Suite 400A

Fort Worth, TX 76108

Phone: 817-336-8590



4200 S. Hulen Ste. 614

Fort Worth, TX 76109

Phone: 817-731-8646



1209 County Road 1304

Bridgeport, TX 76426

Phone: 833-425-8677


Frequently Asked Questions

The City does not lease nor provide advice about leasing private property for gas exploration and drilling. Information provided by the City addresses general issues related to gas drilling and mineral leases and is not intended to provide advice on any specific legal matter or factual situation. This information is not intended to create and its receipt does not constitute a lawyer-client relationship. Readers should not act upon this information without seeking professional legal counsel. Gas companies offering leases for gas exploration and drilling for privately owned minerals, including those with the words "Fort Worth" as part of their name or logo, are not associated with or endorsed by the City of Fort Worth.

What is the Barnett Shale?

The Barnett Shale is a large natural gas reserve that stretches underground across a 15 county area. It contains an estimated 55 trillion cubic feet of natural gas and is located approximately 1.5 miles below the surface. In recent years, advances in drilling technology have made it possible for energy companies to extract large amounts of natural gas from the Barnett Shale.

How can I find out if a natural gas well permit has been obtained near my property or additional information about gas well drilling within our city limits?

If a gas drilling operator has requested a drilling permit within 1000 feet from your residence, you will receive a notification concerning the request. Residents with any questions or concerns regarding gas drilling are encouraged to call the Gas Division at 817-392-1427.

Does the drilling harm the environment?

Drilling for natural gas is more environmentally friendly than drilling for oil. Drilling and extracting natural gas is cleaner. With the advent of directional and horizontal drilling technology, natural gas wells have a much smaller impact on the land than oil wells and new drilling techniques are more energy-efficient and quieter.

Can someone else own the minerals underneath my property? How can I tell if I own my minerals?

Yes – It is possible that the mineral ownership may be different than surface ownership. A deed/title search may be necessary for one to determine who actually owns the minerals under a piece of property. For information on deeds, contact the County Clerk for the county in which the property in question exists.

How far must a well be from my property or public structures/areas?

The distance requirement is regulated by the city’s gas ordinance. No well maybe drilled closer than 600 feet from any protected use such as a residence, religious institution, public building, hospital, school or public park without a waiver from the protected use owners or City Council approval.

Will drilling affect the foundation of my house?

There is no documented evidence of drilling affecting foundations. Most foundation problems occurring in the North Texas area are a result of groundswell and contraction during alternating periods of wet and dry weather.

What emergency plans are in place in case of an accident?

In the case of gas wells, it has been determined that one plan is not a viable alternative and that if a situation should arise, it should be handled based on the type of incident and the information available.

Does the city profit when drilling takes place on private property?

No— the city only profits from natural gas drilling on city-owned property. Only the mineral owner and the mineral lessee profit from the operations. The city does receive ad valorem taxes, which are assessed and collected by the Tarrant County Appraisal District.

Can a gas well be placed on my property without my permission?

As a general rule, an operator would rather have the surface owner’s permission before putting a well site on a particular property and will pay appropriate damage fees to the surface owners. Any other actions would be preceded by legal action involving the operator and the property owner.

What can I expect when a company is going to drill in my area?

A sign will be placed near the proposed well site advising that a permit application has been submitted. Notices will be sent to residents/property owners within 1000 feet of the well site. A pad generally 300’ X 300’ will be prepared and a drilling rig will move onto the location. The drilling rig will be on site for approximately 20 to 30 days actually “drilling” the well and running pipe into the open hole. After the well is drilled the drilling rig will move off. The rig move and drilling is a 24-hour operation and is probably the noisiest part of the operation. Shortly thereafter, well “completion” will begin and a smaller portable rig will move onto the location. After completion of operations, surface equipment will be installed along with appropriate fencing and gates. From this point, there will be minimal activity on the location. Occasionally a small rig will be brought to the location for remedial work.

Is the City monitoring our water supply due to water usage by the drillers?

The City of Fort Worth Water Department monitors all usage of water in the City. The last report presented by the Water Department at a recent Public Gas Well Information meeting indicated that drilling activity in the City accounts for only 1% of the water used in the City.

Who can I call if I have a question or a complaint?

Questions regarding drilling and operation of gas wells may be directed to the Gas Well Inspection Section at 817-392-1427.

Will someone be on the drilling site at all times?

During drilling operations there are personnel on-site 24 hours. Completion operations are usually conducted during the day, but personnel may be on-site 24 hours during a short flow-back period. If there are not personnel on-site (Operations or Private Security), then the site/equipment must be secured.