Natural Gas Industry Deserves Second Look
On numerous occasions during the past three years, I've advocated on behalf of the nation's energy producers. Today, I advocate on behalf of one producer, Williams, and contend that individuals in the anti-fossil fuels community should take a second look at how this trailblazing company in the natural gas industry does business.
My contention stems from the findings of a two-day trip I took to Western Colorado this week at the invitation and expense of the American Petroleum Institute. While visiting places like Parachute Field and Rulison Field, I was able to take an up-close look at Williams' natural gas facilities in the Piceance (pronounced “pee-ahnce,” not “Pic-ee-ahnce”) Basin.
When it comes to the environment, I learned the following:
- Williams reuses and recycles almost all of the water it uses and boasts almost 100 percent "green" completions of well sites;
- Williams minimizes the environmental impact its drilling operations by using above-ground pipelines, instead of trucks, to transport water to drilling sites;
- Williams is applying cutting-edge offshore drilling technology to the Piceance Basin and, as a result, is able to drill as many as 22 wells from a single drilling site and is able to do completion work on as many as 172 wells from a single location;
- Williams holds monthly meetings and annual summits during which citizens living in the Piceance Basin area can ask questions, share ideas and express concerns, if any, about the company's activities;
- Williams earned three Outstanding Operations Awards in 2007 from The Colorado Oil and Gas Conservation Commission; and
- Despite the fact that Williams has been operating in the area for more than 25 years, the drinking water in the Piceance Basin remains clean enough that one can actually drink it directly from the rivers and streams in which it flows.
If you count yourself among the anti-fossil fuels crowd, believing that the industry is driven and staffed by money-hungry people who care little about the environment, I encourage you to take an honest second look at the industry represented well by Williams employees in the Piceance Basin.
When you do, you'll find hard-working people who believe in an honest day's work for an honest day's pay.
You'll find a group of people who, by and large, are probably more protective of the environment than the average cigarette butt-tossing city dweller who spends more time watching television programs about the environment than he does outside during a typical week.
Surprising to some, you'll find 20-somethings working with some of the most-sophisticated technology the world knows. And did I mention they were sporting pierced lips and tattoos?
NOTE: This is the first of a series of posts I'm writing about my April 14-15 trip to the Piceance Basin. To ensure you receive all of the posts about my trip, click here to subscribe to this blog via RSS.
* * *