Drilling deep in the water or deep in the land – energy dependence vs energy independence

While more oil from BP’s deep-water drilling edges toward land every day, not too far inland Mainland Resources will soon be drilling the Burkley-Phillips No. 1 well deep into the land.

Mainland expects to begin drilling next month the Burkley-Phillips No. 1 well to test what it believes is an undiscovered Haynesville shale structure at the Buena Vista prospect in Jefferson County near Natchez, Mississippi. Mainland will drill the well using a RAPAD Drilling rig to 22,000 feet, or a depth efficient to test the Haynesville formation. Estimated cost of drilling the Burkley-Phillips No. 1 well at Buena Vista is approximately $13.5 million. Drilling is expected to start around July 10…

Mainland has leased more than 17,000 acres in the Buena Vista prospect area. Mainland will start with one well on a 1,280 are unit and then come back and start an infill drilling program that could potentially have over 200 wells. The company will use a vertical well because of the vertical thickness of the formation, which will be cheaper than drilling a horizontal well.

The 2000 Census reported Jefferson County, Mississippi, had a total population of 9740 and the highest percentage of African-American’s in its population of any county in the nation.  The County’s $9709 per capita income makes it the 17th poorest county in the nation; however, if the shale holds the amount of natural gas that’s being predicted, Jefferson County won’t be among the nation’s poorest counties for long.

A July 29, 2008 New York Times story reported the similar experience of DeSoto Parish, Louisiana: Continue reading “Drilling deep in the water or deep in the land – energy dependence vs energy independence”

Miss Dixie on Mississippi Mud and new developments in Ex Rel Rigsby

I was up almost all night finishing Kathie Koch’s upcoming book, Rising from Katrina but I noted a couple of blog entries from Anita Lee’s blog which I need to highlight.

First up is Magistrate Walker again protecting his buddies at State Farm by letting State Farm’s  legal team lie and stonewall about which documents they have in response to subpoenas. The trick is you let all the depositions occur and then drop subpoenaed documents on the plaintiffs right at the discovery deadline so as to prevent salient questions from ever being asked. This is a time-honored tactic that State Farm could not pull off in non magic jurisdictions which take the federal discovery rules seriously. Anita boils down the larger issues in Walker’s ruling in a recent blog entry:

Walker has decided State Farm should not be required to turn over the reports to former insurance adjusters Cori and Kerri Rigsby, who filed the lawsuit alleging State Farm committed fraud in adjusting Hurricane Katrina claims. The company denies minimizing wind losses by blaming damage on tidal surge covered through federal flood insurance. Continue reading “Miss Dixie on Mississippi Mud and new developments in Ex Rel Rigsby”