Bee County Passes $9,500 Well Permit Fee to Fund Road Repairs

Bee County Commissioners passed a resolution that will require Eagle Ford oil & gas operators to pay a $9,500 fee for each approved well permit.  The fee will be contributed to the Bee County Road and Bridge Fund and will be used to make needed repairs in areas of high traffic. Road repairs can cost as much as $50,000 per mile. There are 18 approved permits, from five companies, in the northern area of the county that will be affected by the new fee. $171,000 will be raised almost immediately.



This is the first required fee I've seen, but I know I've seen talk of others. Use the comments below if you know of other counties with similar permit fees. In Dewitt County, one operator is voluntarily donating $8,000 to the road fund for every well it drills.

Addressing Roads and Pipeline Easements in South Texas

South Texas roads and pipeline easements become a source of contention when an industry moves in as quick as we've seen in the Eagle Ford. Operators end up negotiating 95% of pipeline right-of-ways, but approximately 5% have to be condemned. That doesn't make for a happy landowner. In addressing road needs, one operator is donating $8,000 per well to a road fund in Dewitt County. Creative solutions will be needed. You can't add heavy trucks to roads without more frequent maintenance. Road funds and increased tax payments will come and in a couple of years it will all equal out. In the mean time, a compliment should go to operators who are acting early in addressing the needs of the communities.

Along with oil and gas prosperity, tricky problems come with the Eagle Ford shale boom.

Roads in small communities are taking a beating from oilfield truck traffic. There's a housing shortage.

And billions of dollars in new pipeline will crisscross the oil and gas play, an eminent domain issue that inevitably will make some private landowners unhappy.

The issues are nothing new in a state with a long history of oil and gas production. But the speed at which drilling activity has ramped up across the Eagle Ford has taken many by surprise.

Read the full news release at