Commonwealth Journal

Local News

January 15, 2008

Drilling for natural gas underway in Pulaski County

Somerset — For the first time in many years, a major natural gas project is being started in Pulaski County because of increasing demands and rising prices of natural gas.

Mammoth Natural Resource Partners Inc., based in Barren County, acquired nearly 12,000 acres in June in the Chimney Rock area of northeastern Pulaski County to begin drilling for natural gas.

Chris Burchett, with Mammoth Resource Partners, said eventually the company hopes to expand its wells in the county from 16 in Chimney Rock to numerous wells throughout the eastern part of the county.

“I was told to expect at least 100 wells coming in here,” Burchett said. “That’s the plan.”

An ever-increasing demand for natural gas and rising prices have made finding natural gas reserves that can produce marketable quantities all the more important, which means that untouched areas or areas that had only seen limited activity in the past are being turned to again.

According to the Kentucky Geological Survey’s Web site, the last known dated natural gas project was completed in 1989. The numerous wells in the county, some that had been started as early as 1919 and 1931, began to disappear by 1950.

Burchett said Pulaski County’s untapped reserves can help ease the high demand for natural gas nationally, and he said that was much of the reason why the company decided to begin a project in the area.

“This is the first project we’ve done in Pulaski County,” Burchett said.

The county’s history includes strip coal mining and old natural gas wells, but those activities have tapered off until recently. Still, Burchett said geological formations in the county show that there are still natural gas reserves in the eastern part of Pulaski County.

“We’re hoping to get better pressure over in fresh areas,” he said. “For example, in Mt. Victory, nothing’s been done since the 1950s.”

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