Southwestern Energy (SWN) today announced plans to move forward with 15 new natural gas well on Greers Ferry Lake. These will be the first natural gas drilling operations in the state to use a water platform, similar to gulf oil platforms.
Earlier this year SWN discovered the largest deposit of natural gas so far in the Fayettville Shale play area. SWN currently operates over 350 natural gas wells in Arkansas producing an average of 2,027MMcf per day of natural gas.
“The Greers Ferry operation represents a huge potential for us in the coming years,” SWN spokesperson Gustavo White tells us. “Not only is there a vast reserve of natural gas sitting under Greers Ferry, but initial testing has shown it to be up to 99.9% pure. Interestingly enough when compressed into a usable liquid it turns a unique blue color.”
The move to begin drilling under Greers Ferry has drawn a number of opponents to the operation and fracking practices used to extract the gas. Most notably Skip Rutherford who announced today that he would leave his post as Dean of the Clinton School of Public Service to start a new organization called Save Greers Ferry. Rutherford was seen placing the stickers shown to the right on cars parked around downtown shortly after the announcement.
“I am going to do everything in my power to stop the extraction and distribution of blue natural gas from the Heber Springs and Greers Ferry Lake region,” Rutherford said at a press conference announcing the move. “This is bad for the region, bad for Arkansas, and ultimately bad for our future. The process of fracking causes potential environmental side effects that we are not prepared to deal with.”
SWN was able to win over opponents worried the oil rigs would detract from tourism to the area by announcing that all rigs would incorporate a drive up (by boat) bar, fried chicken restaurant, convenience store, and boat wash.