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PNS Daily Newscast - Friday, August 23, 2019 


A federal court ruling changes how the President is elected, and Florida Democrats trigger a special session vote on guns. Those stories and more in today's news.

Daily Newscasts

New "Direction" on WYO Drilling Issue?

June 4, 2007

Out of sight and out of mind. A technology used by some in the state’s oil and gas development industry should become the standard, according to some conservationists. It's called "directional drilling." Wildlife biologist Erik Molvar with the Biodiversity Conservation Alliance says drilling can be angled horizontally for up to seven miles, which means some development could be placed outside of areas people and wildlife depend on.

“You could actually move the well pads, the facilities, the pipelines and roads, outside the sensitive habitat and then use that directional drilling to drill underneath the sensitive landscapes.”

Molvar notes that not all companies use the technology because it's more expensive. The cost is about 10 percent more per well, and for large projects, that could mean millions of dollars. It's a practice required by law in some cases in Texas, however.

Molvar promotes incentives to encourage development companies to use the direction drilling technology more often, especially in areas like the Red Desert, which is rich in wildlife habitat.

“Once you've destroyed it, and you're on that landscape with your drilling operation, and you're pushing these wildlife away, we don't have the ability to create new land and new habitat somewhere else.”

More information on directional drilling is online at www.oxy.com/OIL_GAS/technology/direct_drill.htm.

Deborah Smith/Eric Mack, Public News Service - WY