Blogger: Helis Oil to drill in St. Tammany

Company president not confirming plan

Helis Oil & Gas, a New Orleans-based independent energy company, is expected to drill in the St. Tammany Parish portion of the Tuscaloosa Marine Shale.

“This definitely is a TMS wildcat,” Tuscaloosa Trend blog author Kirk Barrell said in his most recent post.

The proposed location lies dozens of miles southeast of the most active area of the oil-rich shale. The Tuscaloosa stretches across the middle of Louisiana and into Mississippi. The formation holds an estimated 9 billion barrels of oil.

The St. Tammany Parish Clerk of Court’s Office should stock up on paper because the landmen are coming, Barrell said.

“Congrats to Helis for investing in the play. It’s amazing to see small independents like Goodrich, Encana, Halc√≥n and Helis pioneering this emerging oil play,” Barrell said. “From a geologic standpoint, this will be an interesting location.”

Helis President David Kerstein declined to comment.

The well would be drilled to around 13,000 feet in depth, deeper than the usual Tuscaloosa well depth of around 10,000 to 12,000 feet.

Baton Rouge landman Dan Collins said there probably hasn’t been a well drilled in St. Tammany Parish in 25 years but a successful well by Helis would open up the eastern section of the Tuscaloosa in Louisiana.

“I think everybody in the industry, in Louisiana and the rest of the country, will be looking at this,” Collins said.

The depth of the well isn’t an issue. Exploration and production companies have no problem with that, Collins said. The question is what sort of resource — oil, a mixture of oil and gas, or gas — the well will produce.