A BuzzFlash Reader Commentary
So It's Just Going To Be 2000 Acres, Eh?
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by BuzzFlash Reader Heather Wade
March 5, 2002
On the topic of the proposed oil drilling in the Alaskan Wildlife Refugee, I would like to share what I learned about HDD.
I spoke with this gentleman not to long ago. He was what some might call a typical Texan. He was a really nice fella; we talked about the proposed drilling in the Alaskan Wildlife Refugee.
When he got to that subject, I wanted to explain my displeasure of running a risk of ruining the refuge. I was quick to assume he was all for drilling. Considering he was an oil and cattleman from Central Texas.
Well, to my surprise, when the "drilling" word came up his face went sour. I was taken aback. He said, "It would be devastating if they did that!" He went on to tell me that he was a third generation oilman. He said "I am gonna tell you something that will surprise you. Do you know how they are going to drill for that oil?" Of course, I have no real clue. "They donít just drill vertically nowadays," he said with cautious voice. "They go in side ways now," he said, "Itís called HDD."
[HDD = Horizontal Directional Drilling.]
He went on with an angry tone. He said he has seen large oil companies in Central Texas try to buy up people's land for drilling. If they refused to sell, the oil companies would just buy the property next to the one they wanted and drill sideways into the neighbor's land. The poor old guy would never know his neighbor was drilling underground sideways onto his property.
I told him, "Oh, no way." In disgust I closed my eyes and shook my head. I then said, "So, itís not just going to be 2000 acres is it?" He said, "No itís not and theyíll take all they can once they get in." He finished off the conversation with, "Itís not worth it." "Thereís not even that much oil up there, to run the risk of ruining that wonderful place."
For an explanation and graphic of Horizontal Directional Drilling, look here:
* * *
So a smaller footprint means less impact, but it doesn't mean no impact at all. Any development will inevitably change one of the most pristine areas on the planet...
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