SpaceX is now locked in a legal battle with an oil company in Texas for a plot of land that the aerospace company wants to use to drill for natural gas, according to public records.
The site is said to be 806 acres and is located in southern Texas that is near the SpaceX Starship facilities. The area is a testing ground for methane-fueled Raptor rocket engine.
SpaceX legal battle over oil
The attorney for the SpaceX subsidiary that is now fighting for the land, Tim George, was quoted by Bloomberg News saying that methane reserves from the land will be used in connection with the rocket facility operations of SpaceX. Bloomberg News was the first to report about the case.
The SpaceX subsidiary Lone Star Mineral Development LLC, in filings with a Texas energy regulator, demanded that Dallas Petroleum Group LLC or DPG, which currently claims the ownership to wells on the said land, vacate the wells. They were given until the end of 2020 to do so.
The filings state that the oil firm does not have the right to own them and that it illegally trespassed the area and illegally installed a lock on the land's entry gate to prevent Lone Star's access to the wells, according to MarketWatch.
Public records show that SpaceX had leased the land from Mesquite Energy Inc. back in June 2020. DPG stated that it maintains the right to the wells on the same plot of land and had asked a judge to dismiss the claims of Lone Star that they were there illegally and should vacate the area.
Unfortunately, none of the attorneys of SpaceX or Lone Star that are involved in the case could be reached by the media to comment on the ongoing case. Attorneys for DPG could also not be reached by the media to comment on the dispute.
Battle for oil
The case is now before the Railroad Commission of Texas, which is a state regulatory agency. The Commission's three commissioners will vote on the outcome of the case as soon as a judge issues a proposal for decision, according to the spokesman for the agency. This process could take months.
The Raptor engines of SpaceX powers the company's heavy-lift Starship system. It is a shiny rocket that is developed for routine flights to Mars.
SpaceX has been conducting numerous test flights of Starship prototypes in Boca Chica, Texas. The area is along the rural beachside in Cameron County, according to CNBC.
In 2020, SpaceX had purchase two deep water oil rigs for $3,5 million each and now the company plants to convert them into seafaring launchpads for Starship. Elon Musk, the chief executive and founder of SpaceX, named the two rids Phobos and Deimos.
Lone Star's dispute with DPG is the latest legal hurdle that is faced by SpaceX as it aims to turn its Boca Chica site into a launch facility capable of supporting routine orbital Starship missions.
The attorneys with SpaceX and its other subsidiary that is based in Texas. Dogleg Park LLC have been negotiating with residents of a small Boca Chica community to purchase the properties to make way for the personnel and other test site expansions of SpaceX.
This article is owned by Tech Times
Written by Sieeka Khan