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Companies going deep to find oil in Cameron

Last Modified: Sunday, November 25, 2012 9:37 PM

By Eric Cormier / American Press

One of the world’s largest oil companies is continuing a historic onshore drilling project in Cameron Parish.

In January, the Louisiana Department of Natural Resources announced that Chevron and Stone Energy, which is based in Lafayette, were drilling to depths never allowed in the Bayou State before.

During the year, wells have been drilled in Johnson Bayou on the west side of the parish and Lineham Creek on the east side of the parish.

Patrick Courreges, a policy analyst with the Department of Natural Resources, told the American Press that the drilling depths are what make the projects noteworthy.

The Johnson Bayou well was projected to drill to 26,000 feet. Courreges said that job has been curtailed.

At Lineham Creek, located in Rockerfeller Wildlife Refuge, the project is designed to drill to 29,000 feet and is still ongoing.

Since 2009, onshore Louisiana wells have been drilled between 18,000 and 20,000 feet.

According to a Department of Natural Resources new release for Lineham Creek, “the company (Chevron) brought the largest land rig in the world, owned by the Unit Drilling Company of Oklahoma, down from Wyoming to Louisiana. Chevron contracted the 200-foot-tall Rig No. 201 — a rig with a 40,000-foot design capability, which the U.S. Secretary of Energy Personally traveled to Oklahoma to dedicate when it was built in 1981. The entire rig required more than 100 semi-truck loads to ship it to Louisiana, and once assembled, the drill floor alone is more than 40 feet off the ground.”

Courreges said this type of project adds jobs to the area. If oil or natural gas is tapped, the economic “multiplier affect” will lead to even more of a dollar windfall.

“As of the Nov. 13 update, they were at 24,500 feet and trying to get to 29,000 feet,” he said.

State officials said they are hoping these new well depths will usher in newer drilling around the state.

Already, McMoran Exploration has been working on drilling depths down to 30,000 feet in Iberia, St. Martin and Iberville parishes.

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