Merging Markets: The Mississippi Lime Formation and Shipping Containers for Portable Storage
The Mississippi Lime Formation is a layer of limestone spanning over more than 17 million acres in Oklahoma, Kansas and a small portion of Nebraska. In parts of Kansas, the limestone is up to 1700 feet thick and lies at a depth of roughly 5000 feet under the earth’s surface. Created approximately 330 million years ago, this huge limestone layer, known in the industry as “The Mississipian Play”, is undergoing thorough feasibility studies to find out how best to recover oil and natural gas trapped in the formation.
Analysts are unsure exactly how much oil and gas can be recovered, but the prospects look good; so good that companies have begun leasing drilling rights from residents across all three states. Roughly two billion dollars has been thrown at leased land in recent years. Kansas has already seen a much needed economic boost from the preliminary work underway; towns like Kiowa, KS who’s end seemed in sight just a few years back is now under a full fledged recovery. One of the factors in this being such a key discovery is that the oil and natural gas are at relatively shallow depths compared to other drilling sites – making for less costly wells and higher potential profits.
Storage Solutions will be Inevitable
In large scale construction, or on huge industrial / commercial projects like the one taking place on the Mississippi Lime Formation, portable storage is always needed. Utilizing shipping containers as a storage solution in Kansas and surrounding areas is ideal due to their strength, portability and security. In this particular scenario, with the Mississippi Lime Formation covering such a large area, on site storage will be needed in numerous locations. SandRidge Energy of Oklahoma has leased 1.3 million acres of land and is planning on drilling up to 200 wells – All of which will need storage for equipment and tools.
Diverse Applications Utilizing Shipping Containers
With this type of multi-site / multi-company project there are many different applications for utilizing shipping containers. Some of the uses might include:
Corten Steel Containers for Primary Portable Storage
Shipping Containers built out of Corten steel are ideal for portable storage as the containers can be dropped in wide open, public areas where high-end drilling equipment, tools and other materials can be stored safely without the nagging worry about break ins. Storage containers can be equipped with lock boxes as well which serve as additional security measure against theft.
Shipping Containers for Heavy Equipment Transportation
In the Oil and Gas industry the equipment needed to drill nearly a mile under the earths surface is imperative to the success of each individual drill site. Drill rigs and parts are extremely heavy and require an equal capacity with which to move this equipment from site to site. Some ISO Cargo Containers have over 3000 cubic feet of space inside, and can carry up to 73,000 pounds in gross capacity, and nearly 63,000 in payload.. This, coupled with the fact that in can be picked up and loaded on most standard flatbed trailers and moved from site to site.
Modified Containers for Drilling Site Offices
Shipping containers can be modified to include personnel doors, windows, electrical and insulation for use as portable offices at the drill sites. Other accessories such as plan tables, shelving and motion lights can be added to cater to specific site requirements.
What This Means for the Region
Some analysts have looked into the data for this project and are calling it “the new Bakken”; Naming a site in North Dakota that struck absolute gold drilling for oil years ago and has not only completely re-shaped the economy in that state, but has become the United States second largest oil producer behind Texas. One Global information company has estimated the lime formation to be holding approximately 3.6 Billion BOE (Barrels of Equivalent), which is a far cry from Bakkens resources but is also purely speculative and as we’ve seen in the past, things can be far bigger than they seem.
At the University of Kansas, in the applied Economics Department, one researcher has said that the states economy should see $116 million in extra income from new jobs and royalties in the first quarter of the upcoming year. In the event that the Mississippi Lime Formation is a huge success, that number would skyrocket to $1.1 billion per quarter by 2022.
Wayne Woolsey of Woolsey energy Corp in Wichita has already had success utilizing Hydraulic Fracking, which essentially uses pressurized water, chemicals and sand to penetrate the rock and release gas and oil. A big part of the speculation of the Mississippi Play incorporates Fracking, so the precedent is there, and the outlook for that method is very bright. Vertical drilling will also be used and oil tycoons such as Boone Pickens have invested more than $250 million in land and drilling equipment to exploit the rich soil. Shell Oil has leased roughly 700,000 acres and drilled 10-13 wells with mixed results so far, but are also optimistic about their upside potential in the area.
With a looming oil boom and bringing shipping containers into the mix as industrial portable storage and equipment transport these two industries are primed to do very well in this area.