Helis Oil & Gas Halts St. Tammany Energy Project
Following a lengthy review of the geologic, engineering and other data from its exploratory well in rural St. Tammany Parish, Helis Oil & Gas has concluded that it will not proceed with further operations. "Helis has determined that the prospect lacks appropriate commercial viability so the company will not pursue the project any further. Helis intends to permanently abandon the well and secure the site in accordance with regulatory requirements and its leases," said Greg Beuerman, spokesperson for Helis Oil & Gas.
The company has suspended the air, water quality and noise monitoring it voluntarily instituted prior to beginning work on the site. The results of that monitoring will still be available to the public through the state Office of Conservation.
Had the results shown more promise, Helis would now be working with regulating agencies, parish officials and its contractors to move the project toward completion and production later this fall. At the inception of the project Helis estimated the potential for commercial success at 30%-35%.
Helis President, David Kerstein, has personally reached out to appropriate parish officials to notify them of the company's decision to terminate the project, as well as to business and civic leaders who voiced their support for the project and in many cases withstood significant strong criticism from vocal opponents of the project and to St. Tammany's prospective role in securing American energy independence.
"While we are disappointed the well was unsuccessful, exploratory projects such as this one involve a substantial risk of failure which we accept as part of our business. We can terminate this project knowing that we conducted our operations without a single complaint regarding noise, traffic or environmental impacts," said Kerstein. "Throughout this long and often arduous process, Helis Oil & Gas set a new standard for proactively addressing even the most unfounded concerns, expending far more time and money than required to reassure the public of our ability to conduct our work safely, protect the environment and parish quality of life. To the letter, Helis employees and contractors conducted themselves professionally and helped the company keep its commitments to the people of St. Tammany," Kerstein said.
Despite some vocal opposition, Kerstein notes that "It is important to recognize that many community leaders expressed their support for the company, the project and the energy industry, understanding full well that we could and would conduct the project with the highest degree of transparency and safety. We are grateful for their support."