Helis seeks approval for north shore drilling site

Published: Jun. 17, 2014 at 3:05 PM CDT
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Helis Oil & Gas Co. is taking the next step in an effort to begin fracking in St. Tammany Parish.

At a hearing in Baton Rouge Tuesday, the company asked the state Department of Natural Resources to approve a 960-acre tract where it hopes to drill for oil. The company has targeted a location north of Mandeville and Interstate 12 near Highway 1088.

Helis began its presentation shortly after 9 a.m. Spokesman Bill Dale said the nearest well in the Tuscaloosa marine shale formation is 40 miles from the proposed site.

The Concerned Citizens of St. Tammany spoke out against fracking, citing a recent legislative audit that gave the Department of Natural Resources poor marks for regulating oil and gas activities.

Earlier this month, the St. Tammany Parish Council voted to authorize outside attorneys to file for an injunction to stop the process.

A decision on the bid to unify ownership of drilling land could come in the next couple of months. If the state approves the proposed boundaries, Helis can apply for a drilling permit.

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