After more than three years of litigation, the Flower Mound Town Council has amicably settled with oil and gas exploration and production company EagleRidge Operating, the town announced Monday.
EagleRidge was challenging the town’s annual gas well inspection fees and drilling ordinance, according to a news release from the town of Flower Mound. The town has agreed to accept a 60% reduction in the amount of past due annual fees EagleRidge owes for the prior three years, and in return, EagleRidge has agreed to plug and permanently close 26 of its 35 wells within town borders over the next 12 months, in total closing four of its seven pad sites and about 75% of its wells in Flower Mound.
Additionally, EagleRidge has agreed that the town’s current annual fees are commercially reasonable and will not challenge this amount in the future. The town will not assess the gas well fees this year against the 26 wells subject to close.
“This settlement is an exciting and important achievement for the town, driven by Council’s leadership,” said Flower Mound Mayor Derek France. “The lawsuit was only about the amount of our inspection fees, but it led to the closure of the majority of gas wells in our community. The Town would not have been able to achieve those closures through separate litigation or negotiations, so the end result of this lawsuit is extremely favorable for the town of Flower Mound.”