Mining for the Future

Logan County native and Judge/Executive Logan Chick took me around the county and I talked with multiple people who said parts of northern Logan County are full of oil.

Now, with the prices of oil so high, many are realizing this old oil could be a new beginning.

There are some who have lived in Logan County for a long time and they'll tell you there's a lot of oil.

"We bought a farm adjacent to the first one we bought and oil was actually running out of the ground down there at certain times of the year at the foot of the hill out in a bottom," said Logan County resident Loyd Houchens.

Houchens and Earl Costellow have seen oil ventures in Logan County for decades, some successful some not.

"They used pond scoops and mules to move the dirt. Of course, it was close to the top of the ground there. Some of this has got 10-15 feet of dirt on it. I'm not sure what year that was done, but that was done before my time," said Logan County resident Earl Costellow.

"They mined some tar sands out years ago up there and they hauled it down to the railroad track and took it up to Louisville," said Houchens.

"It's nothing that we've just discovered in the last 100 years or so, but it's being developed in a way we never thought it could be. It's a new time and it's here. So, you'll see new players, if you will, come into our region," said Dr. Mike May, Geologist at WKU.

The land may have not been used for years, but now there's a renewed interest in the area and Arrakis Oil plans to take advantage of that.

"We certainly believe that the resource is large and can be extracted profitably. So, where it's not to deep under the surface, we feel like it's a significant opportunity," said Arrakis Oil Consultant Aaron Wilson.

"People are very interested in because it's not for paving roads it's for extracting oil because the price of oil is remaining high. It doesn't have the fluctuation of gas prices. There's a lot of economic interest. There's a lot of interest on the part of geologists and engineers," said May.

Arrakis Oil wants to take the oil rich sandstone and extract it safely while not using high temperatures like oil shale and then actually put a healthier rock back into the ground.

"The oil can be extracted from those rocks that have more pores and holes in them, much more easily with much less energy input, and the volume of materials is typically much much less. So, you have less volume of material you're going to extract oil out of, it doesn't have near the environmental impact. You don't have to use heat in a lot of cases," said May.

So, the question is why now? What makes this a great option?

"The price of oil is high enough that we fee like there's a good rate of return on our capital invested in this project. Obviously, a fall in oil prices would be diminishing to our return or negative. An increase in prices would largely benefit us," said Wilson.

And those benefits are exactly why they're here to turn old oil into new profits.

Arrakis expects to be fully operational in about a month at their location in Logan County.

This new development will also create new jobs in the area.

Comments are posted from viewers like you and do not always reflect the views of this station.
powered by Disqus