Tuesday, June 14, 2016


Helis oil is about to begin its controversial drilling project in St. Tammany Parish.

This first phase of the project will involve drilling a 13,000-foot-deep vertical well and will not include any hydraulic fracturing, Barham said.

The company plans to collect samples and also conduct tests on a 270-foot-thick layer of rock more than 12,000 feet deep to see if the formation, part of the Tusacaloosa Marine Shale, could be an economically viable source of oil, Barham said.

Analysis of the samples and test results is expected to take several months. If the results are positive — a 50-50 proposition, Barham said — Helis would move to Phase 2 of the project, which would involve hydraulic fracturing, or fracking.

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