With Risk, Comes Reward

By: Peter M. Duncan

The Associated Press (AP) reported this week what most of us in the industry already know, that with the growth of new energy sources and the corresponding technology to access them (i.e. fracing), environmental changes and conflict over that change will soon follow. The good news is America's dependence on foreign oil decreases.

Case in point, at a round-table discussion at the Southern Governors' Association meeting in Asheville, North Carolina attendees agreed that energy-independence is desirable, but opinions on which alternate resources and techniques are the safest and most reliable varied.

Duke Energy CEO James E. Rogers was quoted as saying, "We need to be careful going forward; we need to think through these choices,"

Among the hottest topics were fracing (duh), the use of corn-based ethanol and the development of the Keystone Pipeline from Canada to Texas.

Richard K. Stoneburner of Petrohawk, defended the fracing process saying proper well design can reduce or eliminate water quality issues and that his studies indicate there is a 120-year supply of gas that fracing can access. For more on why fracing is safe, see my earlier blog.

One thing not covered in the article was the unbelievably advanced technology we're now using while fracing. MicroSeismic's data analysis for instance is able to pinpoint microseismic events, in real-time, as they are happening. Not only that, we are able to look at the entire field being drilled, not just the frac, ensuring water sources are not contaminated.

This technology is obviously helpful to operators, but another key feature often overlooked is the ability to determine who owns what. Say you and your neighbor own land adjacent to one another. MicroSeismic's technology can actually determine who owns what-so the standard 50/50 split can be more exact.

With every major change this country has gone through (Industrial Revolution, the dot com boom and bust, etc, etc.) there are always nay sayers and skeptics. The logic behind fracing and many of the practices in or industry is not willy nilly. Our associates are among the best and brightest scientists on the planet.  I put my trust in them to take us into the next generation of energy resourcing.