Fact versus Fiction

Fiction:         

This is the first well project in St. Tammany.  We’ve never had oil and gas exploration here before.

Fact:              

More than 15 exploratory wells have already been drilled in St. Tammany Parish within a 15 mile radius of this site.  Altogether, more than 50 oil and gas wells have been drilled in the parish with no adverse environmental impacts. Additionally, two pipelines already run through this property.

Fiction:         

There are no fracking operations through and below this aquifer now. This is a new and risky development.

Fact:              

This is a large aquifer that runs under several parishes to the west and north of St. Tammany.  There are dozens of fracking operations in those parishes including right next door in Tangipahoa, where there are no environmental or health and safety problems. Here’s a May 13, 2014 WWL-TV news story that demonstrates this point. 

Fiction:         

This project will put our aquifer at risk .

Fact:              

Our operations will be at 12,000 feet, approximately 9,000 feet below the aquifer.  That’s 1.7 miles below the aquifer  Science demonstrates that at most fracturing extends 150-250 feet from the fracturing zone. In addition, Helis will employ an extra string of casing so that the aquifer will be protected by three concentric strings of casing - one more than the required two strings of casing. There is no risk of contamination to the aquifer.

Fiction:         

This land isn’t zoned for oil and gas activity.

Fact:              

Oil and gas activities are regulated by the state of Louisiana, not parish government.  Virtually all of this land is currently under a 99-year timber lease and already has oil and gas pipelines running through it.

Fiction:         

This project will be loud and unsightly and disturb students and faculty at Lakeshore High School.

Fact:              

The well site sits approximately 1.25 miles from the school in a heavily wooded area that cannot be seen or heard from the school.  In an abundance of caution, sound barriers will be utilized during the drilling and production processes.

Fiction:         

This project will have a negative impact on a wetlands area. 

Fact:              

Our well pad will be placed on less than 10 acres of land in a way that is fully permitted by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers.

For decades, Helis Oil & Gas has drilled wells in highly sensitive environments, including wetlands.  Operating safely and efficiently in these environments is not new to our company or to our contractors.

Fiction:         

Chemicals used in the process pose a threat to the air and water.

Fact:              

Fluids to be injected into the well are 99% fresh water and natural sand and ceramic proppants.   Any chemicals used must be reported to the regulatory agencies.  Any air emissions will be strictly regulated by the state Department of Environmental Quality.  Helis has committed to establishing baselines for air and water throughout the area and will continuously monitor both via independent lab(s).

Fiction:         

This project will tear up our roads and reduce our property values.

Fact:              

There are no plans to access parish roads for any aspect of this project.  We intend to only use federal and state highways and bridges.  There are no homes, neighborhoods or commercial developments within 2 ½ miles of the well site. 

Fiction:         

These projects are not properly overseen by government agencies.

Fact:              

There are many government agencies that have direct oversight or permitting responsibility for this project including the Louisiana Department of Environmental Quality, Louisiana Department of Natural Resources / Louisiana Office of Conservation, US Army Corps of Engineers, and the US Environmental Protection Agency.  Parish officials have also requested input into the project and Helis is committed to continuing an open and respectful dialogue with them.  This project will be highly regulated and well supervised.