By Bob Weaver

The deep well rigs are down, and at least one has been moved to a new location elsewhere in the state. Were they good producers? Winners? With no official announcements and no replies to information requests, that which remains is hearsay and speculation, which follows.

One source says the Ardent well on Route 5 near the mouth of Bull River was "somewhat a disappointment," but it will be fractured. The well off Road Run Road drilled by a joint venture between Ike Morris and the Cabot interests, was described as high pressure, low volume, with the spin saying the well was producing 4-5 million cubic feet a day, which is sizable.

Gossip surrounds the Ardent operation, saying they had Enron money in their operation, in addition to money from Dominion. None of this can be confirmed.

Some public comments from the energy companies indicate deep well drilling may cool down for a while, evaluating market trends, although in Roane County Harry Boggs is starting a new deep well and Columbia is drilling another.

Columbia may be looking toward the "down trend" on the deep well line through this area, focusing on southwest sites close to U.S. 119 near the Cottontree field, close to the edge of Roane and Kanawha counties.

Meanwhile, Columbia is leasing a number of pieces of property near the Roane-Calhoun line for drilling into the Oriskany sand. These are considered deep wells, although not as deep as the original operations in Roane and Calhoun.

While there is movement toward the building of new transmission lines out of Calhoun, nothing is under construction, so no deep well gas has been sold.

Despite earlier announcements by the companies to relocate and drill other deep well permits in Calhoun, that is apparently not the case.

So if you expected facts, there are few.

Nearly all energy watchers believe they'll be back.

Meanwhile, several small oil and gas producers in the region are suffering through the sting of the Enron collapse.

Hur Herald from Sunny Cal
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