More setbacks shackle methane drilling plans

WASILLA — A slipped timeline on a coal-bed methane well proposed by Fowler Oil & Gas Corp. marks the latest of several setbacks for the Palmer-based company.

In May, Fowler got the necessary state permission to start work on the proposed well, located in a hayfield along Trunk Road.

A gravel road and pad appeared in the lush green field this summer, as did a company sign.

In June, Fowler chief executive Bob Fowler said in an e-mail that he expected to start producing gas this fall.

But a timeline on the company's Web site now puts the start of production at next spring, with initial drilling to start this fall.

At least as of this week, no drilling was under way. Fowler did not respond to several phone messages and e-mail requests for information.

Fowler's is the first attempt to plumb coal seams in populated areas for the lucrative gas since Colorado's Evergreen Resources Inc. left the state in 2004 amid fears of private property invasion and fouled water.

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