Oil and Gas

Oil Gas 512

Why are there more than 150 active wells on Hagerman National Wildlife Refuge?   A legal obligation.

Hagerman National Wildlife Refuge is an overlay of U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (Corps) lands at Lake Texoma. When the Corps purchased the lands for the lake in the late 1930s, they did not purchase the mineral rights under those lands. Instead, the rights were (and continue to be) held in private ownership by many different individuals, families, and corporations.

The refuge was established in 1946. In 1951, oil and gas resources were discovered under refuge lands and that same year structures, including oil pad access roads, pump jacks, tanks, and flowlines, were installed to allow for mineral extraction and transport. Under federal and state law, mineral owners have a legal right to access and extract their minerals. Refuge officials understand and respect these rights and work closely with production companies to try and minimize impacts to refuge habitat and wildlife. An oil and gas specialist stationed at the refuge supervises all permitting requests related to oil and gas activities within the refuge.

Neither the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service nor the Corps benefit financially from these activities.