Our Work

Gulf Coast Western routinely utilizes innovative techniques for development, exploration and acquisition of oil and natural gas plays across the United States. They have been in business since 1970 and have seen many advances in the industry.

Seismic Survey

Seismic surveying is a technique used to determine whether a formation is potentially viable for oil and natural gas production. Soundwaves are sent down through the formation with a seismic truck. These soundwaves are then reflected back to the surface where they are received by specialized equipment. This process essentially creates a map of the different geological features of the formation. It is easier to identify potential oil and natural gas reserves, which helps determine where to drill, as well as how productive a formation is likely to be.  

This process was discovered in the early 20th century, and has since become a standard practice in the exploration and development of oil and gas plays. It is less hazardous to the environment and oil and gas workers, because it eliminates the need to explore with a drill bit. With seismic surveying, drilling never begins until a site is deemed viable, and the seismic map that is created with the technology makes it easier to drill in the proper location.  

This process is also beneficial to investors in oil and gas, as it is easier to determine the potential productivity of a site. The geological map that is created with seismic technology allows future partners and other investors to see the different features of a site, helping them to make a more sound decision on whether or not to move forward with development of a well.  

In the past decade, seismic technology has been refined to the point that data from these surveys is more accurate than ever before. Many of these new developments in the technology have to do with how data is interpreted. Current technology and data analysis techniques allow for a more clear and accurate assessment of each site, which enhances the chances of successfully developing a site. Seismic survey techniques improve the chances of finding viable sites in which to develop functioning wells. A key component of the drilling process is the logging stage, in which a device is inserted into the drilled pipeline to explore the site's viability as a producer of oil and/or natural gas. If it is determined that the site is not viable, the hole that was initially created for the well is plugged, and the site is abandoned. New data processing equipment used to complete the seismic survey process is more accurate than ever before. This makes it more likely that a site will be deemed viable once we've begun the drilling process.
 

Where GCW Works

 Gulf Coast Western operates throughout the Gulf Coast, with sites in Texas, Alabama, Louisiana, and Mississippi. There are also sites in Oklahoma and Colorado. Since its inception in 1970, GCW is dedicated to growth and works around the clock to identify shale formations and new sites for potential drilling. Their technologies are proven to explore, acquire and develop productive sites. Sites include various oil and gas formations across the country. They pride themselves on bringing jobs and economic opportunities to the communities in which they work. From setup to maintaining a functioning well, they only work with skilled professionals. GCW is committed to quality, safety and professionalism.


Diversified Investing

 Part of the growth strategy at Gulf Coast Western is to create a diverse mix of solutions to oil and gas explorations, development and acquisition. However, some of the technologies that have been developed can potentially be used in other industries. Gulf Coast Western recently established a subsidiary company dedicated to the oversight and safety of various oil and gas play sites. One technology that is routinely used is Cold Clean technology, which is a cleaner, more efficient method of cleaning drill bits and other equipment.

DRILLING OVERVIEW

Much work is involved with preparing a site for drilling. Each location is prepared including considerations such as access and safety. To keep drilling mud and other debris from contaminating the surrounding land, a plastic-lined drilling pit is created at each site. Smaller holes are then dug which will become the sites in which equipment, drill bits and other items will be stored throughout the process. Next, a rig is brought onto the site. Many workers are involved in the process of site preparation. It can take up to 45 people to move and install the equipment necessary for drilling a 10,0000’ well. Gulf Coast Western is dedicated to safety. Before the drilling process begins, each assembled rig must be thoroughly inspected to ensure that it adheres to proper safety standards.  

The process of drilling a well takes time, and the rig will be monitored continually throughout the process. Each rig has two crews to monitor the rig, change out the drill bits and continue the drilling process. Rigs are operational 364 days a year with the exception of Christmas.  

Each site is equipped with a Blow Out Preventer or BOP, which is designed seal the well to keep gasses and other harmful chemicals from escaping the well. The primary purpose of the BOP is to prevent blowouts from occurring. This is a mandatory piece of equipment that helps to ensure the safety of rig workers and the surrounding land. During the drilling process, special care is taken to keep the well from potentially harming viable land surrounding the site. Each well is isolated from the surrounding water table, with serves as the source of freshwater to the neighboring community. Safety is the top priority, and this process is given special attention to keep contaminants created by the drilling process from seeping into the freshwater.  

Once the well reaches a certain depth, logging equipment is then inserted into the well to analyze the surrounding formation and determine whether the site is actually viable for oil and gas extraction. The logging process is imperative, as it helps Gulf Coast Western and its partners determine whether to continue drilling or to abandon the well and explore another site.  

There are many steps that can be taken to help increase the cost-effectiveness at each site, including using fewer paving and concrete materials. In the instance that a site is left as an "open cut," in which routes to the rig are not paved, and minimal concrete surfaces are poured, the sites are useless raw material to build, and they can become operational more quickly. These sites are also more ecologically friendly, since there is less disruption to the natural areas surrounding the site.

Diversified Exploration Since 1970
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Horizontal Drilling

This technique is used in many uncommon oil and natural gas plays across the country. It involves drilling horizontally through tight sandstone, and it serves as a more efficient means of extracting natural gas. This method is more cost effective, and less environmentally destructive, as one horizontal well can cover the same area as multiple vertical wells. Building and maintaining multiple vertical wells is costly, and they may not be setup to successfully extract natural gas from tight sandstone. Horizontal drilling solves these problems.  

Like vertical wells, this horizontal drilling process begins by using a mounting a drill bit onto the end of a drill pipe, which is cooled by a mixture called mud. The bit is drilled to just below the deepest fresh water aquifer. The drill pipe and bit are then removed, and a surface casing is inserted into the hole, which is designed to isolate the fresh water zone. This casing will also be the foundation of the blowout preventer, which connects the rig to the well bore and serves as a safety device. To seal the well bore from fresh water, cement is pumped into the hole and forced upward, which creates a watertight seal.   


After the seal has been completed, the drill bit and pipe are inserted into the well bore, and the hole is drilled approximately 500 feet deeper until it reached the zone in which horizontal drilling will begin. The horizontal drilling process is completed with a different type of drill bits that complete drilling at an angle until it reaches the tight sandstone in the rock formation. Then begins the lateral drilling process in which well is drilled horizontally through the tight sandstone.  

When the hole is completely drilled, it is sealed off to ensure that natural gas and other compounds do not seep into the rest of the formation. Then a process known as “fracking” (hydraulic fracturing) to extract natural gas from the tight shale will be used. This is a process by which the sandstone is fractured, with a mixture of water, sand and other additives, making it easier to extract natural gas from the formation. Following completion of each fracking stage, a permanent well head is placed on top of the well, and natural gas flows through the wellbore.    

Horizontal drilling is far more effective, because it is less harmful to the environment, and it produces greater amounts of natural gas than vertical drilling. Many of the sites at Gulf Coast Western utilize horizontal drilling, and they have been operating safely for years, with no harmful impacts to the water table or land surrounding the drilling site. It also allows them to work around geological surface features that may be difficult to move around. Drilling a vertical well requires drilling through potentially difficult layers of earth, which could impact the site around the well. Horizontal drilling allows them to bypass these features altogether.


This patented technology uses dry ice foam to clean drill bits and other equipment. It uses less water and results in less drilling mud and debris mixed in with runoff water at the site. While the sites are constructed to minimize ecological impacts to the surrounding area, this technology improves their commitment to safety even more. It also has potential uses in other industries. If explored, this could become part of the Gulf Coast Western growth strategy.    

At Gulf Coast Western, years of experience have allowed them to develop techniques that are proven to work effectively. They believe in using techniques that help maximize the potential of each site, while adhering to strict safety standards. They are always exploring for additional sites and additional partners. They are committed to improving the chances of success for all Joint Venture Partners. For those interested in learning more about GCW’s work or learning about the process of becoming an accredited Joint Venture Partner, please visit the Partnership page.