The controversial Dunes Sagebrush Lizard was at the forefront for the better part of the year. After a long, hard-fought battle and a public comment period that was actually extended, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service announced they would not be listing the lizard as an endangered species. They said it was the result of conservation agreements between a number of oil producers and Fish and Wildlife. As drilling programs increased across the species habitat, it was a huge sigh of relief for the industry.
But some companies faced other obstacles, as drilling in certain neighborhoods in the Permian Basin didn't sit well with the residents that live there. In Gardendale, for instance, many residents are still frustrated at the ongoing drilling in their area.
In Midland, there was a heated battle between RSP Permian and part of northwest Midland over five proposed wells there. A compromise was reached by the city council, allowing two drilling permits out of the five. But both sides say they're not done and are appealing that decision.
Although the industry will face more obstacles in 2013, the outlook for most industry leaders remain positive and say growth is expected to continue.
Industry leaders also say we need to keep our eye on the Lesser Prairie Chicken as the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service considers the species for a listing on the Endangered Species List. The service published the proposal on December 11. The 90-day public comment period will remain open until March 11. Big 2 News will keep you posted on the latest.
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