"I. A. Levorsen taught the simple, yet profound truth that any undiscovered oil or gas field exists only as an idea in the mind of the explorer."
- from The Greatest Gamblers by Ruth Sheldon Knowles
Levorsen introduced a whole new concept, the stratigraphic trap, to the early petroleum exploration arena and this new concept revolutionized the future of petroleum production like nothing before. By careful research, new oil pools could be located and tapped. In a like manner, OAI's introduction of research as a tool for groundwater exploration and development was equally novel to our clients. OAI's new approach did away with wildcat drilling and siting wells based on rules of thumb. While at first met with skepticism, OAI's novel new approach, a hydrogeologic approach, to groundwater exploration and development quickly won over doubters and continues to win over new clients through completion of each successful new well.
OAI's hydrogeologic approach begins with research and an anaysis of your existing system. This includes the accumulation of all existing available hydrogeologic data, the evaluation of that data and the formulation of a concept (prospect) that can then be be pursued in a planned manner. Much like an oil prospect, a carefully developed groundwater prospect enhances the chances for success and lessen the chance of failure. OAI's research has led to the development of fresh water wells without "test wells", located "new" aquifers and led to a more efficient method of exploration and development of groundwater resources. The links above highlight case studies where OAI's research has paid off for our clients.
At OAI, research is a critical component of the majority of our groundwater resource exploration and development projects. The days of completing a public supply well for $25,000 are history. Currently, a single dry hole can run upwards of $60,000 and delay a project by many months. On the other hand, research or hydrogeologic study, has paid off for OAI clients with most projects developing wells without experiencing "dry hole" costs, some projects completing new wells without test well costs and some receiving good news that runs contrary to what the "experts" said.
Term applied to petroleum exploration well drilled with little or no geologic insight or effort. Wildcats are more likely to result in failure than geologically located petroleum tests.
Rules of Thumb
These work great keeping your kids safe at Halloween. When applied to groundwater resources, rules of thumb can and often due drive up the cost of the project. Unless money is of no concern, leave rules of thumb out of your groundwater resource program.
Analysis of Your Existing System
The reality is most systems have been around longer than their current personnel or their governing Boards. In completing our analysis of system resources, we have identified old system wells the current personnel knew nothing about, see note on research above. Another aspect of analysis involves taking a closer look at exisiting production. Some wells were completed to meet demand "required" at the time. Now, years later, the demand has increased. OAI's analysis allows for a thorough evaluation of the well's hydraulics and in several cases, we have successfully demonstrated (and re-permitted) increased production for a fraction of the cost of a new well.