We devote substantial time and resources to minimizing the impact of our operations on the land. By using cutting-edge technology, such as three-dimensional seismic mapping and horizontal drilling, we are able to drill for natural gas with an accurate depiction of the targeted geological formations below. This allows exploration teams to identify natural gas prospects and space wells more efficiently and effectively. This increased efficiency also reduces the number of dry holes drilled, drilling costs and exploration time. In addition to the strategic use of seismic data, we carefully evaluate geographical and topographical aspects of each site to determine the best place to locate a well.
Minimizing Surface Impacts
The use of horizontal drilling and multi-well pads significantly reduces our overall surface footprint. By designing the majority of our pads to accommodate up to a dozen wells, we are able to centralize operations as well as reduce the number of pads required for optimal land use. In addition, technological advancements have enabled us to substantially increase lateral lengths, further minimizing the number of pads constructed. Another benefit to multi-well pad sites is the reduction in road traffic due to less frequent mobilization of drilling rigs and fewer individual sites requiring maintenance.
In addition to reducing our surface footprint, we also take many additional steps to minimize erosion and sediment issues. Some of the measures we implement include:
- Site-specific “best management practice” controls;
- Erosion controls to prevent storm water pollution;
- Measures to control storm water flowing onto and through the project;
- Sediment controls to provide a second line of defense to properly designed and installed erosion controls;
- Temporary seeding to aid in controlling erosion;
- Proper design, alignment and building of lease roads to avoid sensitive areas; and
- Survey and sample water sources
As soon as is practical following drilling and completions activities, we work to return the area to its original condition, contour and drainage, utilizing only the minimum footprint necessary for ongoing production operations. During the interim reclamation process, when transitioning from drilling operations to production operations, we take several steps to use the original stockpiled topsoil to fertilize and plant the graded areas with noninvasive seeding, as recommended by the various federal and state agencies with reclamation oversight.