The construction process that goes on during natural gas development is a lot like the building of a structure or road. And even though there's plenty of activity for a while, it's temporary. The entire process typically takes about a year from start to finish, and during that time we do our best to minimize any inconveniences such as sound, lights, traffic and dust. When we're finished, what's left is about the size of a two-car garage. We're required by law to reclaim the property, and we make sure the site looks just the way it did before we started working - or even better.
Laying the Groundwork
Before the actual drilling begins, Range Resources takes several steps to prepare the area. First, scientists pinpoint the best spots to drill, often by using 3-D seismic testing. During this process, sound waves are sent deep underground. The waves reflect off the underground rock formations and are picked up by special microphones. These sound waves create a three-dimensional "picture" of the rock formations underground so our analysts can determine where natural gas is most likely to be.
After we choose a spot to drill, we get all the permits required to work in the area. Then we build an access road and, typically, a five-acre drill pad. Both the road and the pad are reinforced to support heavy equipment and include erosion and sedimentation controls, all of which are required and inspected by regulators.