The Energy Report: On July 26, George Phydias Mitchell died at the age of 94. The late Texas oilman had pioneered the use of horizontal drilling and hydraulic fracturing. Can you speak about his achievements?
Jim Letourneau: Mitchell was the founder of the entire shale oil/shale gas revolution. For decades, the Texas wildcatters had known that there was gas in the Barnett Shale, but it was very difficult to get it out. Mitchell did not invent the fracking technologies. He just wanted to get the gas out of the shale. And as the owner of an oil company, he got to challenge the technical people. He basically said, "If you guys can't figure it out, I'll find someone who can." He had the power and the money and the persistence to make it work. Mitchell Energy Development Corp. began working on the problem in 1981, and it took until 1999 to figure it all out. The company sold for $3.5 billion ($3.5B) in 2001! It is inspiring.
TER: Were other companies trying to develop fracking? Continue reading "Enhanced Oil Recovery with Competitive Costs"