“Pablo made the right decision” to oppose drilling, said May, who leased more than 1,000 acres and gets $1,400 yearly from Carrizo. Later May learned that Carrizo could renew the lease after five years even if he no longer wanted it, and they could sell its rights to another company.
Sometimes betting on a town is good; sometimes not, said Richard Hunter, vice president of investor relations for Carrizo, a Houston-based company that exploits gas in four types of shale nationwide using controversial drilling techniques that go deep and horizontal.
He called the time and money spent in pursuit of a permit “almost a fishing expedition.” Even if Carrizo had gotten the permit, it was unlikely to drill a well in the near future because a nationwide glut of exploration has depressed the price of gas, he said. Hunter said Carrizo will hold onto its leases and wait, perhaps to follow a bigger oil company with the resources to be more persuasive in the county.