The Louisiana Office of Conservation on Dec. 19, 2014, approved a permit for Helis Oil & Gas Co.’s proposed drilling operation near Mandeville, La., in the Tuscaloosa Marine Shale. Helis plans to use hydraulic fracturing to complete the well, and water for hydraulic fracturing operations will come from private ponds and not scenic bayous or groundwater wells, according to the Dec. 19 order.
The order directs Helis to drill the well using a closed-loop solids control system, and no pits or earthen pits will be allowed. Prior to acquiring water, Helis must provide information to the Office of Conservation to identify proposed water sources, and acquisition of water cannot proceed without Office of Conservation approval. In addition, Helis must provide full disclosure of the chemicals it uses to hydraulically fracture the well and monitor groundwater, air, storm water, and noise.
Helis still needs a wetlands permit from the Army Corps of Engineers and a water quality certification from the state Department of Environmental Quality before any work can begin.