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City to ask oil and gas board for delay on Arlington decision

NATCHEZ — The City of Natchez will appear before the Mississippi State Oil and Gas Board today to request that a hearing to potentially approve oil exploration near Arlington be delayed one more time.

Mayor Butch Brown said he would be attending the meeting to ask for the continuance. The board granted the city a 90-day continuance in August.

RMB Exploration conducted preliminary oil exploration on Arlington property in late 2011 and early January without completing the city’s approval process for the operation.

The company has now sought approval from the state board.

Mike Biglane with RMB Exploration appeared before the Natchez Preservation Commission in January for approval, which wasn’t granted at the time. Biglane never returned to the commission after the exploration resulted in a dry hole.

Biglane returned to the preservation commission in May with an amended application for a second proposed oil operation.

The oil well was denied by the Natchez preservation and planning commissions. The Natchez Board of Aldermen denied Biglane’s appeal to the preservation commission’s decision.

Biglane filed an application with the oil and gas board for authority to drill the well previously denied by the city. The city has suggested, Brown has said, horizontal drilling at the site, which would be less of a disturbance to the property.