University to hold open meeting about future gas drilling

Administrators are hosting a meeting with the TCU community today to discuss the status of the university’s natural gas operations.According to a press release posted on the TCU Web site, Don Mills, vice chancellor for student affairs, and Brian Gutierrez, vice chancellor for finance and administration, will lead the dialogue, which will touch on the board of trustees’ letter of intent to negotiate exclusively with Four Sevens Resources Co. and the university’s subsequent steps in the process.

The discussion will also give students, faculty and staff the opportunity to ask questions and share their opinions about the possibility of drilling on the TCU campus.

Energy companies looking to tap into the Barnett Shale, one of the United States’ largest natural gas reservoirs, have been competing to acquire leases for the mineral rights of Fort Worth land – TCU’s 260-acre campus is no exception.

The university began looking into opportunities for natural gas exploration early last month after several energy companies approached TCU with leases. On March 2, the board of trustees signed a letter of intent to name Four Sevens as the university’s natural gas operator, giving the Fort Worth-based energy company sole negotiating rights with the university.

“The next step is to complete a process of negotiating a lease that meets the university’s standards and is mutually acceptable by TCU and Four Sevens,” Gutierrez said in a March press release.

Terms of the lease are still being constructed, according to the press release, and the start of drilling has not been determined.