The fight began in the late 1980s after the well-known O'Connor family of South Texas and Exxon failed to renegotiate royalty rates for decreasingly productive wells. After Exxon plugged the wells and left, Emerald tried to re-enter several in 1994. Smaller drilling companies routinely reopen plugged wells after signing new leases with the landowners.
But in Emerald's case, the company says, efforts to re-enter more than 30 wells were blocked by numerous obstructions. Among them were a tool known used to break up well casings that still was loaded with explosives, upside down drill bits and steel debris, according to lawyers and court records.
Read it all here. I believe the only thing in the local paper was a similar wire story without any local embellishments. I emphasize the possibility that they covered it and I overlooked it, but I don't think so. My wife came in from a flying trip to Austin carrying an American-Statesman with the story, asking what there had been for coverage locally. Seems to me that this is a story with enough Victoria interest to merit a couple phone calls by someone in the newsroom, and maybe a story of sufficient local interest to rate the front page. Texas Monthly gave it ink in the November issue, with the High Sheriff T. Michael O'Connor quoted.