Pumping Oil In Missouri
"Absolutely there's oil in Missouri," says Megawest Energy mining engineer Jim Long.
Long is a lifelong resident of Vernon County, living on a farm roughly one mile away from the Missouri-Kansas border. On his land, he and Megawest hope to drill 100 wells in the next year.
"This is inch by inch barrel by barrel out of the ground," says Megawest Energy CEO Bill Thornton. "It's going to be a challenge; an exciting challenge."
Engineers are working on 80 acres now, and hope to be pumping by February.
In the future, Megawest hopes to be drilling on 5,000 acres, yielding 10,000 barrels of oil per day.
Even though the oil wells in Missouri are not as deep in the ground, the thick, cold oil costs a little more to drill. But with the price of oil pushing $90 per barrel, Missourians could see a lot more drilling in the near future.
"There are two risks in the oil industry," explains Thornton. "Can you find the oil? And can you make money getting it out of the ground?"
Despite the risks, Long is optimistic.
"A wildcatter goes in on a hunch instead of sound geology," says Long.
Thornton shares Long's optimism, adding that Megawest considers itself a "pioneer."
"We're re-discovering heavy oil that nobody is paying attention to. The large companies are chasing elephants in the North Sea, Gulf of Mexico, or Asia, and they've left this territory basically unattended," says Thornton.