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Drill pad haciendas

Jim Hiatt

Dear Editor,

“Prime Real Estate – Used Gas Drilling Pad for Sale.” No kidding? What the heck would anyone do with a used drill pad? There are thousands of them all over the United States that never produced a drop of oil or a cubic foot of gas. They just sit there – abominations to all that is holy – but wait!

It is difficult and expensive to get a well graded homesite – more difficult by the day to bring adequate water to homesites. Aye – there’s the rub. Clear, cool water is becoming the scarce item in these days of abundance – so scarce that water is being rationed to 1 million people in Denver today.

Oil and gas drill sites have extensive grading to accommodate drilling rigs, pipes, cars and trucks. Abandoned drill sites might make excellent homesites. But what about water?

Logs are run when wells are drilled for gas. “Logs?” You ask. Yes, “logs,” my friend. Technicians runs “logs” in gas wells. They put a bunch of gizmos at the end of a drill stem, and lower them to the bottom of the hole. The gizmos are activated and slowly raised to the top of the hole.

One logging device might measure and record the various widths of the hole as the drill stem rises. Another might measure and record the electrical resistance of the walls of the holes as the stem rises. Another might measure and record the radioactivity in the sides of the hole. The possibilities are numerous. The locations of possible water zones can be measured and logged, or deduced from data from other logs.

Many drill sites are abandoned as soon as the logs are run and examined. Other drill sites produce gas for short, medium and long terms. All of the drill holes will be abandoned sooner or later. The possible use of drill pads and the water below them for homesites should be next on the agenda.

Get legal locations of the wells posted at the drill sites. Get operators’ and owners’ names from courthouses.

The records of all oil and gas wells are filed with state oil and gas commissions. Independent geologists and gas well engineers are ready and able to study those logs and report on the possibilities of good water at economic depths.

Test abandoned wells for water. Produce water from those wells, or drill small bore wells along side of them to the water zones. Make those drill pads green, and live there.

Jim Hiatt

retired oil, gas and

mining landman

Battlement Mesa


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