When a drilling site is selected, community engagement is undertaken and information is gathered regarding all applicable laws, regulations, permits and codes, and environmental impact assessments may be conducted to identify and address any potential conflicts. All development and production activities incorporate well-defined and proven policies, standards and practices to ensure safe and environmentally responsible operations.
In a typical unconventional gas project, the most intensive activity occurs during drilling, which normally lasts between four to six weeks. In the Barnett Shale in Texas, the drilling process can be as quick as 14 days. During this period, trucks drive to and from the site and machinery is used to drill wellbores that typically extend one to one and a half miles below the surface.
The fracturing process itself typically lasts for only a few days. Once drilling and fracturing are complete, and natural gas is flowing, there is very little noise at the producing wellhead. It will remain in this state for the rest of its producing life, normally about 20 to 30 years.