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After the padsite is constructed, the drilling rig and other necessary equipment are moved onto the location.



The drilling process typically last two to six weeks and begins by drilling a vertical hole, after which most wells are turned and drilled horizontally to maximize the recovery of oil and natural gas reserves. Horizontal drilling results in fewer wells, and in many geological formations, it is the only method that leads to a commercially viable well. It also allows us to drill multiple wells from a single location, which lowers our surface impact.​​

Chesapeake’s horizontal wells range in depth from approximately 5,000 to 13,000 feet, while our vertical wells can exceed 20,000 feet in depth. These targeted geological formations are almost always a mile — and often two miles — below domestic and public water supply wells, which are typically less than 1,000 feet below the surface.


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