As we have informed regulators, parish leaders, the community and media, we anticipate this initial phase to last until late July or early August, at which time we will rig down, remove all equipment from the site, secure the well and access to the site, while we further analyze our data and possibly plan for pursuing an additional permit from the Corps of Engineers.
For clarity's sake, remember that this phase is exploratory only, drilling more than 9,000 feet below the aquifer to approximately 13,000 feet. There will be no production and no hydraulic fracturing in this phase. In that respect, our well is no different than the more than 50 oil and gas wells that have already been drilled in the parish, along with approximately 40 others in Lake Pontchartrain just off the parish's shoreline dating back to the 1930's!
Recognizing community concerns regarding the potential safety of this project (despite its location more than 1.2 miles from Lakeshore High School and nearly 2.5 miles from the nearest neighborhood), Helis undertook the extraordinary steps of conducting a two-phase educational and readiness training program for parish First Responders, culminating in a site tour for over 30 officers and employees of the Sheriff's Department, state police, parish fire department, Haz-Mat teams, EMS and others, as well as a crisis readiness exercise designed to simulate an incident on site, and test the various parties' ability to coordinate and respond as safely and efficiently as the public would demand.
We are especially grateful for the engagement of these response organizations, and applaud them for the detailed questions they asked, and for their commitment to protecting the public's interest in the unlikely event of an incident at the site.
Looking ahead, we will continue to keep you informed of our project and our progress, and invite you to visit our website and Facebook page often for more timely updates.