Acreage Required to drill in city limits

I understand about the costs, etc. involved in such an endeavor. Is there a minimum amount of acreage required to be owned within city limits and does all this acreage have to be at the location of the proposed drilling site? I would appreciate any specific clarification on this and if necessary what entity would be the authority concerning such matters? The state railroad commission? Thank you.

I'd check with the city government first, to see what requirements they would impose, i.e., safety measures, noise/dust abatement, traffic issues, etc. They may require some security in the form of a bond against damage to public roads, signage, traffic controls, etc. The issues on the ground in an urban area will likely be considerable.

If you were to ask the RRC how much acreage you would need to drill legally, they'd probably ask you how deep the proposed well will be, what the target zone is, and the location of the well so that they will know what field you're drilling in. They'd probably tell you that if you plan to drill, you can apply for a drilling permit and they'll let you know (via their approval or rejection of said permit) whether you have enough acreage to drill at a legal location.

The well spacing regulations differ from field to field. As a general rule, the shallower the well, the fewer acres you need. 40 contiguous acres for a shallow oil well is a common drilling unit size, but it can be more or less depending on the prevailing field rules, which in turn will depend on your location within the state. I offer this 40 acre figure only as an example; without knowing where and how deep you want to drill, I couldn't begin to guess what field rules may apply.

I trust you have some sort of geological data indicating that this city acreage is actually prospective for oil and/or gas. Or is this proposed well going to be some random hole drilled on acreage you happen to own in fee that also happens to be in an urban area? I'm sure a drilling contractor will welcome your business, but I'd be leery of spending a lot of money on drilling a hole without the usual geological analysis that is the normal part of the prospect generation process. This is especially true if you're drilling in an urban area where additional costs are certain to be part of the equation; if you intend to deal with the headaches associated with operating within a municipality, your prospect better be as close to a sure thing as it possibly can be.

A drilling contractor who has experience in the area you want to explore could probably answer many of your questions. One question he may have, however, is: "How do you know this is a good place to drill a well?"