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BOMBSHELL: Fracking/Cement Casing Failure at University of Dallas

February 26, 2013

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Texas Railroad Commission documents reveal that the City of Dallas has been involved with a drilling arrangement with Expro Engineering /Trinity East Energy since 2009 garnering unknown royalty payments while a fracking/cement casing job failed on a well at the same site in July 2009. This episode is causing questions to be asked about possible contamination, litigation, and drilling agreements without City Council involvement or approval. Expro Engineering/Trinity East Energy is the same company that is currently embroiled with the Dallas City Manager Mary Suhm scandal.


Drilling began in 2008 at The University of Dallas campus on 329 acres of land. The well was known as UD Well #1H and successfully drilled without The City of Dallas being a lessor. A second well was soon prepared in July 2009.



Paper work has also revealed that Atmos Energy was enlisted to bring in and hook up the gathering pipelines for the shale gas to be sent to an area gas compressor production facility.
Some people have expressed surprise at this finding, saying that Atmos is not widely known to be used as a gathering pipeline installer.



The City of Dallas is listed as one of five lessors along with The State of Texas and The University of Dallas in a new lease agreement for the second well known as UD-Dallas Well #1H in mid Summer 2009.


The cement casing on UD-Dallas Well #1H that was recently installed sometime between July 2 and July 6 had “parted”, or FAILED (in common terms) during fracking. There is no known paper work showing any third party  testing for contamination releases that may have occurred at the point of cement casing failure above or below the surface at UD.

Expro Engineering/Trinity East Energy wrote a letter to the Texas Railroad Commission Regional Office in Kilgore, Texas on February 1, 2010 stating that there were mechanical difficulties. The letter went on to say that a lot of time and money had been spent on repairs with no success.


Later, in a letter dated February 27,2009  Expro Engineering Trinity East tells the Texas Railroad Commission Regional Office in Kilgore, Texas that they are making plans to build a gas production facility before moving forward with future drilling. Some have speculated that this letter refers to the currently proposed Luna Vista Gas Production Facility that is hanging in limbo while Dallas City Hall is embroiled in the Mary Suhm/Trinity East scandal that continues to raise questions about who knew what, and when. It is widely assumed that Trinity East Energy wants this gas production facility to enable the company the ability to link up many pad sites in the DFW area into a gas pipeline network.


Two and half months later on April 30, 2010 Expro Engineering Trinity East Energy sent another letter but this time to the Texas Railroad Commission Regional Office in Wichita Falls, Texas saying that there were “mechanical difficulties” with UD-Dallas Well #1H and that as a result, there might be litigation problems. We do not know at this time what type of litigation problems they were referring to, nor has there been anyone to answer this question.

Speculation surrounds the topic of why Expro Engineering Trinity East would be contacting two DIFFERENT Regional Offices of the Railroad Commission.



Less than a month after the April 30, 2010 letter, a new pooled unit is created by combining the first successfully drilled well lease called UD Well #1H, plus the failed UD-Dallas Well #1H into what is  NOW called: UD-Dallas Gas Unit Well #2H with 26 mineral lease holders including The City of Dallas, The City of Irving, The Irving Flood Control District, Las Colinas Development and many others. This land parcel now has about 633 acres in the lease.

Production reports show that this new consolidated lease hold has shown only a  small amount of gas that was captured and has quickly dropped to “0” in October 2012.


 Trinity East Energy has gone to great lengths in their attempts to secure not only drilling sites, but also a site for a gas compressor production facility on private property that is next door to the under construction Elm Fork Soccer Complex.

Some will be surprised to know that Trinity East Energy has also in the past filed for permits with the RRC for pad sites in Farmers Branch known as Manhattan and Park West. At this time, the permits have expired but pros tell us that reviving those permits are easy to revive when needed. If those permits were revived along with the UD sites, and the Luna Vista site was approved by Dallas, speculation surrounds Trinity East Energy’s attempt to build a “super highway” of a pipeline network to connect these multiple pad sites.

Below you will see copies of the documents that have been found on the Texas Railroad Commission web site. We also list many questions that must be answered in a timely manner and preferably initiated by an investigatory entity that is not confined within the walls of Dallas City Hall.


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9 Comments leave one →
  1. February 26, 2013 5:44 pm

    The University of Dallas is in Irving. What are you talking about when you say City of Dallas is a lessor at UD? The University of Texas at Dallas is in Richardson. Again, please explain how UD is in Dallas.

    • March 2, 2013 2:32 am

      This is at the borderline of Irving and the City of Dallas. Actually, the graphic for this blog should show a City of Dallas logo, a City of Irving logo as well as a UD logo since all are lessors for this drill site.

    • August 12, 2013 8:34 pm

      UD is NOT in Dallas, but part of the mineral rights ARE in Dallas. Dallas is either the second or third largest stakeholder in the US-Dallas 1H well. It is all a matter of public record.

      • August 14, 2013 10:44 pm

        There is a lot of confusion by a lot of Irving and City of Dallas leaders as to the exact nature of what happened with the drilling failure at The University of Dallas campus in 2009.. The University of Texas at Dallas has nothing to do with this story.

      • February 9, 2015 1:39 pm


        The original plans were for 2 Leases there at the border of Dallas and Irving. UD would hold the majority of the acreage for the 1st Lease and Dallas would hold the majority of the acreage for the 2nd Lease (184 acres)..

        The UD Well #1H was successfully drilled, completed and shut in awaiting a pipeline in 2008. When the Dallas Lease’s Well #1H failed during fracking operations in 2009, the operator eventually decided to “combine” these two leases.

        That process cut back the City of Dallas’ acreage to 177 acres and created a much larger pooled unit. The name of the 1st well drilled was renamed AND that well number was changed when these two leases were combined ~ all perfectly legal prior to production commencing.

        The UD-Dallas Gas Unit Well #2H was then born in 2010 and went into production (via a pipeline) in February 2010.


  2. salrob permalink
    February 26, 2013 6:29 pm

    After reading the information that has come to light over the past few weeks, my question is: Where is The Mayor of Dallas? Where is The Dallas City Council? How in the world was Mary Suhm able to get away with giving the gas company with the best bid carte blanche to city owned properties without The City Council’s knowledge? Where does Mayor Rawlings weigh in on The City Manager’s obvious abuse of power, and why in the world hasn’t Mary Suhm been relieved of her duties? Does The City Manager of Dallas actually have this kind of power and answers to no one?
    The citizens of Dallas deserve and explanation.

  3. February 26, 2013 6:55 pm

    This shit hole just gets deeper and smellier by the day. Thank you, Mary Suhm and Dallas City Council, for your diligent efforts to protect citizens and the environment from the ravages of an out-of-control industry that claims to know what it is doing, yet continually experiences failure after failure in its quest for corporate profits and shareholder equity.

  4. February 9, 2015 1:16 pm

    For the Detailed Oriented in the Audience and the Curious:

    A clarification to this post from 2 years ago (2013). The City of Dallas was indeed a lessor on the UD Lease’s Pooled Unit for the 1st well drilled in 2008. That well was shut-in after completion awaiting a pipeline. The City of Dallas held a very small amount of acreage for this pooled unit.

    The important key issue here is that the 2nd well drilled in 2009 was drilled parallel to the first well (drilled in 2008). And it was for a DIFFERENT lease. The City of Dallas held the majority of acreage (184 acres) for the 2nd well drilled in 2009. After this 2nd well had difficulties and could not be completed, the operator decided (in 2010) to combine the two leases and create the UD-Dallas Gas Unit consisting of well over 600 acres of land with that one well drilled in 2008.

    Apparently, our state’s Oil and Gas Commission is alright with an operator “combining” pooled units prior to production commencing…even though the royalties will eventually be affected for the lessors. Thing is, since the City of Irving, TX was so hands off with this drilling operation at the border of Dallas and Irving, we have no real idea what took place on Tom Braniff and Highway 114 other than what the operator self-reported to the Railroad Commission of Texas in what’s called the “Completion Paperwork.” It’s Oil and Gas, y’all. Amen.


  1. Documents show Trinity East Energy, firm that wants to drill in Dallas, had a failed well casing in Irving in 2009 | The Scoop Blog

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