NEW ORLEANS – The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, New Orleans District has released for public comment a revised permit application from Helis Oil and Gas Company, LLC to construct a well pad for a single vertical exploratory well in St. Tammany Parish.
The public notice and permit application are available on the New Orleans District website at <http://www.mvn.usace.army.mil/Portals/56/docs/regulatory/permits/Fracking/HelisPN-App.pdf>
On April 14, 2014, the Army Corps published a public notice for a proposed +10.55 acre well pad that would accommodate an oil and gas exploration well and up to 10 subsurface hydraulic fracturing production wells. On July 29, 2014, a geological review meeting (GR) coordinated by the New Orleans District and facilitated by the Louisiana Geological Survey was held to discuss geological aspects associated with the proposal. The focus of discussion was on the viability of the proposed location as a production site for fossil fuels to be extracted from the Tuscaloosa Shale Play.
Upon review of the information presented by Helis, the consulting geologist recommended that a single exploratory well be constructed for the purpose of obtaining more data to better assess the site’s viability as an oil and gas production site. The New Orleans District concluded that the site’s viability for production of fossil fuels, at this juncture, is speculative and that processing an application for a production site would not be in accordance with the Corps Regulatory Guidance requirements nor would it be in the public interest. The Army Corps requested Helis to submit revised plans proposing a single exploratory well for the purpose of obtaining the additional data/information necessary to evaluate whether the site is the less environmentally damaging alternative, in the public interest and for the applicant’s desired goal of producing fossil fuels in this geographical area.
The revised permit application will be available for a 30-day public comment period beginning October 14, 2014. Written comments, including suggestions for modifications or objections to the proposed work, stating reasons thereof, are being solicited from anyone having interest in this permit and/or this WQC request and must be mailed so as to be received by the close of the comment period. For more information on how to provide comments, please visit the New Orleans District Regulatory Public Notice Site at <http://www.mvn.usace.army.mil/Missions/Regulatory/PublicNotices/tabid/9321/Article/507378/mvn-2013-02952-ett-revised.aspx >
Release no. 14-060