Helis stops controversial fracking project in St. Tammany Parish

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ST. TAMMANY PARISH, La. (WGNO) – A controversial fracking project in St. Tammany Parish has come to an end.

Helis Oil & Gas announced today that it is ceasing fracking operations due to a lack of commercial viability for the project.

Helis officials said they plan to abandon the well and secure the site. The company will also stop performing voluntary air, water and noise monitoring at the well.

The project caused a lot of controversy in St. Tammany Parish, where residents protested the hydraulic fracturing project over environmental concerns. Ultimately, though, the state had the authority to grant or deny the permit, not the parish.

St. Tammany Parish President Pat Brister released a statement thanking the energy company for being “a responsible corporate citizen during exploratory drilling, and throughout the entire permitting process.”

“Helis conducted their business at the highest standards,” Brister said. “We have always kept, and will continue to keep, St. Tammany’s natural beauty, environment and our quality of life at the heart of every decision we’ve made. Helis understood this as well, and accommodated our every request to that end.

“There were times fracking became a very emotional issue with many public meetings. Unfortunately, it cost the taxpayers several hundred thousand dollars in legal bills to confirm that the oil exploration permitting process is, and will continue to be, a State issue. If there are groups that want to stop oil exploration in our state, they must begin the process to change laws through the State Legislature.”