Carrizo Backs Out Of Bergton For Now

Brent Finnegan -- August 31st, 2010

The energy company that had applied to drill for natural gas in Rockingham County says it’s moving on, reports Jeremy Hunt in today’s Daily News-Record.

Representatives of Carrizo Oil and Gas Co. say the company is no longer “actively pursuing” a special-use permit to explore for natural gas in Bergton. Rather, Carrizo is focusing on sites in other states where it’s met less opposition . . .

According to the story, Brad Fisher, VP and CEO of Carrizo, said that the Rockingham County Board of Supervisors’ review of the process and impact of hydrofracking contributed to Carrizo’s decision. However, it’s unclear if that is a permanent decision. Fisher is also quoted, saying, “We’re going to have to take the time to sit down with the local officials and the concerned citizens and try to educate them on what we’re doing and explain how it’s not going to be an issue.”

On Monday, a coalition of Valley preservation groups warned of the negative environmental potential of drilling for gas in Bergton. The group included the findings of a report conducted by Mark Quarles of Global Environmental, citing the lack of a clean-up plan, “the well’s proposed location in a floodplain, and the risks posed by nearby abandoned wells as serious causes for concern.”

Carrizo told the DNR that they had decided to back off Bergton well before yesterday’s statements of concern.

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