While surface disturbance is unavoidable when extracting oil and natural gas in the Niobrara Shale region, Chesapeake’s environmental footprint is becoming smaller all the time.
Conventional techniques using vertical well development once required as many as 32 wells to effectively produce energy from a two-square-mile area. Today, however, cutting-edge technologies such as horizontal drilling enable us to consolidate multiple wellbores onto a single pad to more effectively recover oil and gas in that same two-square-mile area — resulting in a 90% reduction in overall surface presence. Using this approach, multiple wells can exist on a single padsite and be serviced by a single access road and pipeline.
After drilling, only a small wellhead, some storage tanks and water separation equipment remain for each well on a padsite. Even with multiple wells, a Chesapeake padsite can easily fit into the natural landscape.
Throughout production, we retain only a small ongoing footprint. And once a site is no longer productive, wells are properly plugged, equipment is removed and the site is replanted with vegetation.