Make us your home page

Today’s top headlines delivered to you daily.

(View our Privacy Policy)

Under pressure, Texas oil company shuts last well near Everglades

The Texas company running a controversial oil drilling operation at the edge of Florida panther habitat announced Tuesday it would shut down its remaining well — just as Florida environmental regulators were announcing they would sue to force its shutdown.

Officials of the Dan A. Hughes Co. had already notified the state Department of Environmental Protection that they planned to shut down their last well in Collier County, company spokesman David Blackmon said, which makes the DEP's lawsuit "an egregious abuse of the public's trust and a willful denial of due process."

Hughes sparked anger among its neighbors when it first sought a permit for drilling in the Golden Gate Estates area, then drew a $25,000 fine from the DEP for violating the permit.

Hughes' permit allowed it to inject acid deep underground to fracture the limestone, a process similar to hydraulic fracking. However the company also injected a chemical mix that kept the rocks propped open, which was not allowed by the permit and had never been done in Florida. DEP officials ordered groundwater monitoring to see if any pollution had spread, although so far the results have been negative.

Last week Hughes said it would end its work toward drilling any other wells in Florida panther habitat, except for the one well that was already producing. But Tuesday's announcement signals an end to that too.

Under pressure, Texas oil company shuts last well near Everglades 07/15/14 [Last modified: Tuesday, July 15, 2014 11:30pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times


Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

  1. Have your say Tampa Bay on the region's future transit options

    Mass Transit

    TAMPA — It's time, yet again, for Tampa Bay residents to tell officials what kind of transit options they want for their region.

    The Cross-Bay Ferry docks at the Tampa Convention Center on its maiden voyage on Nov. 1, 2016. A regional premium transit study will determine whether a ferry, or other options such as express buses or light rail, would be a good addition to Tampa Bay. [SCOTT KEELER  |  Times]
  2. Today, a total eclipse of the sun will span the entire United States, crossing from the West Coast to the East Coast, for the first time in 99 years. (Dreamstime/TNS)
  3. What is poke? Here's how to make the Hawaiian dish at home


    In Hawaiian, "poke" simply means "to cut."

    Tuna Poke Bowl: For a classic poke bowl, try this recipe with ahi (yellowfin) and only a few other ingredients.
  4. MOSI, SPC, libraries offer safe solar eclipse viewing Monday


    If you couldn't score some of the hard-to-find eyewear that will let you watch Monday's solar eclipse, have no fear, there are safe viewing choices across the Tampa Bay area.

    Twin Falls High School science teachers Ashley Moretti, left, and Candace Wright, right, use their eclipse shades to look at the sun as they pose for a portrait at Twin Falls High School in Twin Falls, Idaho. The district bought 11,000 pairs of solar glasses, enough for every student and staff member to view the solar eclipse Aug. 21

(Pat Sutphin/The Times-News via AP)
  5. SOCom seeks civilian drone pilots to develop new technology through ThunderDrone


    TAMPA — For the last three years, Nicole Abbett has been using drones as part of her photography business, with clients like the city of Tampa and construction companies.

    Josh Newby, 31, Palm Harbor, of Tampa Drones fly's a drone in England Brothers park, Pinellas Park, 8/25/16. As drone popularity increases as a hobby and business, local governments are navigating a legal grey area- where, when, and how should drone flights be allowed?