by Nelson Cole
An article written by the Louisiana Oil and Gas Association (LOGA) clearly explains the process of horizontal fracking in sedimentary shale rock located over 10,000 feet below the Earth’s surface. The article addresses all concerns that local land owners and communities could have. This article should be referred to those who have concerns regarding horizontal fracturing. I found the information to be very helpful when providing it to my own family. My father’s family owns close to 250 acres of land in Desoto Parish, Louisiana and with my grandfather recently passing my father and family join many other landowners and residents in having concerns of being exploited by major gas companies who are rapidly increasing production in the northwest region of Louisiana.
The article describes the process by laying out the information into a five step sequence: Staking the well, Drilling, Completion, Production and Reclamation. As far as landowners are concerned, stage one, Staking the well, is the best time to intervene. Beginning the process geologists, engineers and land negotiators determine the best location to stake the well. During this period landowners or neighborhood associations could be approached to lease the mineral rights under one’s land should mineral rights be established. In the previous post I explored how residents in Abita Springs, Louisiana were able to delay the process for a year.
The main disruption locals should be concerned with is road repairs and should refer to the Louisiana Department of Transportation and Development to ensure roads are fixed. The actual process of fracking lasts roughly 20-30 days. During this time one can expect increased traffic and possible road damage that will be repaired afterward.
Given that gas wells are drilled approximately two miles below the surface, way beyond a house’s foundation, residents should not worry about the wells during actual production. What residents should worry about is receiving money from struggling Oil and Gas companies.
In Desoto Parish, close to my families’ land there are already eight cases pending against Chesapeake Exploration Co. and others for the need for gas leases. The case could cost Chesapeake Exploration up to a total of 1 billion dollars. Meanwhile, Chesapeake Exploration is on the verge of going bankrupt because the price of oil is currently so low. I hope to explore the situation further moving forward.
Louisiana Oil and Gas