Tribpedia: Barnett Shale

The Barnett Shale is a rich source of natural gas that spans 5,000 miles beneath at least 18 North Texas counties, stretching west from Dallas to Wichita Falls and south to Waco. Shale is a sedimentary rock made mostly of clay and very fine grains of quartz. The Barnett Shale is an impermeable and nonporous shale that did not ...

EPA: North Texas Earthquakes Likely Linked to Oil and Gas Drilling

Kaylen Holmesly, a 7th grade resident of Azle, Texas, testifies before the Texas Railroad Commission and voiced her concern about an increased number of earthquakes around Eagle Mountain Lake on January 21st, 2014.
Kaylen Holmesly, a 7th grade resident of Azle, Texas, testifies before the Texas Railroad Commission and voiced her concern about an increased number of earthquakes around Eagle Mountain Lake on January 21st, 2014.

Federal regulators believe “there is a significant possibility” that recent North Texas earthquakes are linked to oil and gas activity, even if state regulators won’t say so. That’s according to an EPA evaluation of how the Texas Railroad Commission oversees underground toxic waste from fracking and other drilling activities.

Steve Lipsky shows the methane contamination of his well by igniting the gas with a lighter outside his family's home in Parker County near Weatherford on June 17.
Steve Lipsky shows the methane contamination of his well by igniting the gas with a lighter outside his family's home in Parker County near Weatherford on June 17.

Regulators Pan Study on Methane Gas in Wells

No one disputes that high levels of methane have shown up in several Parker County water wells. But the source of the gas has stirred a heated debate involving homeowners, academics, the Railroad Commission and the EPA.

A grassroots effort to ban fracking in Denton succeeded last fall, but has now been trumped by state lawmakers.
A grassroots effort to ban fracking in Denton succeeded last fall, but has now been trumped by state lawmakers.

Dissecting Denton: How a Texas City Banned Fracking

State lawmakers, the oil and gas industry and national environmental groups are asking deep questions about Denton, home to two universities, 277 gas wells and, now, thanks to a group of local activists, Texas’ first ban on fracking. 

Life Inside a Man Camp

Visit a “man camp” that has popped up to accommodate West Texas' transient oilfield workers. These temporary neighborhoods are common in the regions touched by the shale boom. This audio slideshow is part of our Shale Life project. 

The Shale Life Project

The challenges the oil and gas boom present for communities across South and West Texas are immense. Use our 15-part multimedia series to see how surging energy production is changing lives and fortunes across Texas. 

Railroad Commissioners Barry Smitherman (center), David Porter (left) and Christi Craddick (right) are shown at a Jan. 15, 2013, meeting in Austin.
Railroad Commissioners Barry Smitherman (center), David Porter (left) and Christi Craddick (right) are shown at a Jan. 15, 2013, meeting in Austin.

Christi Craddick: The TT Interview

The Railroad Commission's new chairman on the agency's dual role as an industry watchdog and champion, the push to ban fracking in Denton and the commission’s efforts on earthquakes and disposal wells.

 

Lynda Stokes, the mayor of Reno, Texas, testified before the Railroad Commission of Texas on Jan. 21, 2014. She voiced her concern about an increased number of earthquakes around Eagle Mountain Lake.
Lynda Stokes, the mayor of Reno, Texas, testified before the Railroad Commission of Texas on Jan. 21, 2014. She voiced her concern about an increased number of earthquakes around Eagle Mountain Lake.

Railroad Commission Hopefuls Discuss Disposal Well Plan

Two candidates for the Railroad Commission welcomed the agency's newly proposed requirements for disposal well applications, saying they were a good first step in addressing the spate of earthquakes that have shaken up parts of North Texas.