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”