Oil driller sues city of Dallas

An American oil company says it is suing the city of Dallas in Texas, USA after it was denied permission to drill. The exploration firm Trinity East paid $19 million […]

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By Vicky Ellis

An American oil company says it is suing the city of Dallas in Texas, USA after it was denied permission to drill.

The exploration firm Trinity East paid $19 million (£11m) for oil and gas leases covering 3,600 acres of city property.

It claims to have spent millions more and at least five years in the planning, only for Dallas City Council to deny permits on three separate pieces of land.

The firm’s lawsuit alleges Dallas city leaders asked energy companies to lease city-owned land when facing a $90 million (£54) budget shortfall in 2007.

Stephen Fort, President of Trinity East Energy said: “This is about a deal, plain and simple. We had a deal with the City of Dallas and they went back on it.

“The city made promises to us and took our money. They sold us minerals but then denied us the ability to extract them.”

The Council sounded unrepentant in a statement reported by local press.

It said the lawsuit lacks merit and found fault with the three sites. Two were in a city park and in the floodplain and a third was close to the city’s new soccer complex, according to the council.

The statement added that Trinity East “did not apply for any zoning permits to drill near the leased property so that it could use horizontal drilling techniques to try to obtain oil and gas.”