NEW YORK ( TheStreet) -- The subject of mining the earth's natural resources while attempting to be good stewards of nature is not recommended for dinner parties.
Unless you like a heated debate, stick with the weather but don't despair. Having just returned from Alaska to examine the operations of a small energy resource company, I was encouraged.
In examining its operations and leadership attitudes I was struck by the fact that natural resource companies can, if they want to, respect the balance of nature.
The company I visited and carefully examined is a small-cap, high-growth oil and natural gas exploration, production and drilling company. What I saw and heard with my own eyes and ears was impressive.Miller Energy Resources (MILL - Get Report) and its wholly owned Alaskan operating subsidiary, Cook Inlet Energy, have three drilling operations in the Cook Inlet and the company told me and other analysts they're "on schedule". One of its drilling operations referred to as "RU-1" has been drilled to a total depth (TD) of over 15,000 feet. I and a small group saw it and walked through MILL's Kustatan Production Facility (KPF). We received a thorough explanation of all its detailed features by one of its operational managers, Frank Wara, and I learned first-hand that the process of drilling for oil and gas is costly and complicated. This reminded me of what I call "The Great Dilemma." We all want abundant, inexpensive supplies of these vital energy sources, but we don't want the environment to be damaged in the process. For example, I examined the company's impressive onshore and nearly completed drilling rig with the memorable name "Sword #1". It's been drilled more than half way to a TD of approximately 10,156 feet and the company has set and cemented in place a 9 5/8-inch casing string to make headway. Objective well log analysis of Sword #1 produced significant gas hydrocarbon potential in a sand section covering a 200 foot interval from a measured depth of 8,268 feet with over 600 units of gas.