Kentucky Oil and Natural Gas
Many farmers in Kentucky are trading in their tractors and overalls for oil derricks and wildcatting gear. With the price of oil reaching an all time high and the family farm becoming more and more obsolete, the attraction of getting rich by striking oil on the family's back forty is becoming harder and harder to resist. And not without promise, with current geological readings estimating that nearly five billion barrels of oil reserves could be tucked away near Kentucky's famed coal mines of old.
The Appalachian Range possesses at its core rocks that formed nearly a billion years ago. The Appalachians have always been harvested for their minerals with existing abundances of iron ore, granite, and coal. The oil and natural gas deposits of this ancient range remain largely untapped however. Because of the age of the rock formations and the varied terrain, most deposits lie in small fields that are relatively close to the surface. The reason large oil outfits such as Triple Diamond Energy Corp or British Petroleum have not exploited these resources is because of the smallness of the strikes.
However, the depth of the deposits has made drilling and installation of derricks affordable for a number of smaller oil companies in the southern states. Kentucky's oil ventures has been lapsed and depressed for so long that there exists no skilled laborers who know how to run a rig, or even rigs to be run, for that matter. The new smaller companies have brought workers with them with the hopes of exploiting the land to its fullest, paying top dollar to cooperative farmers that allow wells to be dug on their land in exchange for hefty profit shares.
As the price of oil continues to rise, the nearly 350,000 dollars cost per well becomes a nominal fee that is often repaid within the year if a healthy strike is made. Entrepreneurial spirit is running high in the old mountains of Kentucky with rugged peoples, young and old trying their hand at striking it rich at the bottom of a dark hole. The new teams have brought with them a resurgence of local businesses due to more money being invested in mostly rural, farming burgs.
A new rush has hit the hills of Kentucky, quite similar to the Gold Rushes North America experienced in its western states in the late 1800s. With energy needs and energy prices both at all time highs, who can blame these pursuers of the "American Dream"?