What would you do, if you had a valuable asset, but couldn’t get to it to take advantage of it? That was the challenge faced by Champ Oil Company, when drilling in southern Whitley and McCreary Counties of Kentucky and the adjoining portions of Scott and Campbell Counties, Tennessee. The terrain and dense woodlands precluded building a pipeline using conventional heavy machinery. To do so would have required clearcutting vast tracks of forest, grading the land, and building miles of roads, just to lay gas pipe. This would have scarred the land as well as reduced the value of the gas field, by dramatically increasing the expense to transport the gas out of the area.
Champ Oil had a better idea. Rather than spending millions on new technology, sometimes the answer is to look back, and see how it used to be done. Champ Oil formed a sister company, the Herbert White Gas Company, specifically to lay pipe from the rich fields of Kentucky and Tennessee, using a technology as old as time itself – a mule team.
Imagine the modern techniques of fracking relying on a mule team to lay a pipeline. But that’s exactly the way it was done. Of course, we didn’t forsake modern technology completely – replacing outmoded and inefficient compressors with state-of-the-art DPC 160s, resulting in a cost- and energy-savings for the pipeline, and accommodating the increased production that is a result of the Champ Oil drilling programs.