Helis President David Kerstein met with officials today and agreed drill a conventional vertical well, according to Brister's statement.
It will reach 13,000 feet to obtain samples and then analyze the findings to determine whether additional drilling is economically feasible.
If it discovers commercially viable quantities of oil, Helis
will go back to its original plan to drill horizontally and use hydraulic fracturing extract the oil.
"This is a logical decision by Mr. Kerstein
to postpone the original plans until they are certain they have a viable project," Brister said.
"We believe this voluntary, phased approach demonstrates that commitment while protecting our interest in what could be an important energy project," Kerstein
said in the statement, noting that the conventional well will be similar to the more than 50 wells already drilled in St. Tammany Parish
Three of those are within a few miles of the Helis