During a January 22, 2021 hearing in front of the Texas Railroad Commission, SpaceX revealed the plan to drill for methane near the Boca Chica site. The plan would have SpaceX to extract methane from the ground and use the gas in connection with their operations at the site.
SpaceX did not reveal if or how they would be using the gas. However, many think it will support the Raptor engine’s development, which will use super-chilled methane and liquid oxygen as propellant.
The Raptor engine will power the Starship and Super Heavy Vehicles, which could see another test this week at the Boca Chica site.
Currently, SpaceX has not moved to production due to a legal dispute between SpaceX subsidiary Lone Star Mineral Development and the Dallas Petroleum Group, reports Bloomberg.
The dispute is over ownership of a portion of the 806-acre La Pita oil lease that Lone Star Mineral Development bought from Sanchez Energy in June 2020. This portion contains some inactive wells and 24 acres which Dallas Petroleum Group claims they still own.
The dispute is in front of the Texas Railroad Commission, and a lawsuit is currently in the court state system between Dallas Petroleum Group and the Sanchez Energy Group.