We are concerned about the vigorous opposition to the Helis Oil & Gas proposed fracking operation in St. Tammany Parish. As a result, we are writing in support of the efforts by Helis Oil & Gas to drill in St. Tammany Parish on private property.

We provide specialized services and equipment to oil and gas exploration and production companies like Helis Oil & Gas. Our tools, equipment and expertise assist companies like Helis effectively, efficiently and responsibly drill, work over, produce and then abandon wells.

We believe that we are part of the silent majority who support energy independence, private property rights and responsible development of our natural resources.

We have known Helis Oil & Gas since our founding in 1946 as a principled, ethical and responsible operator. Its management is of the highest caliber. The Helis program will create high-paying jobs, spinoffs and innovation. It will benefit local companies and help maintain and grow a healthy St. Tammany economy. Local companies across a wide range of industries such as sand, gravel, timber, engineers, accountants, mechanics, equipment makers, among others, will enjoy the enhanced revenues and higher payrolls.

The basic science and engineering behind the Helis well plan will not cause harm to the public’s health and safety or the environment. Hydraulic fracturing is a 60-plus-year-old technology. One of its core principles is based on gravity. Gravity prevents hydraulic fracturing water from migrating toward the surface. Water will always stay at the same depth or deeper. As a result, St. Tammany’s groundwater aquifer is safe and unaffected. The entire process is highly regulated and routinely inspected.

By working collaboratively with private landowners, the state of Louisiana, the oil and gas industry and responsible operators like Helis Oil & Gas, Parish President Pat Brister and the Parish Council can be at the forefront of promoting the safe extraction and production of oil and gas in St. Tammany Parish.

I am a resident of St. Tammany Parish.

Paul T. Gariepy Jr.

president and CEO, Deltide Energy Service