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Fast Talk: The Gas Man

Fast Talk: The Gas Man

Fred Barrett

CEO and Chairman, Bill Barrett Corp.
Denver, Colorado

Geologist Fred Barrett, 46, focuses exclusively on releasing hard-to-extract natural gas from the Rocky Mountains.

"The average person consumes 1,000 cubic feet of gas a day. The Rocky Mountain region is one of the largest undeveloped gas resources, with an estimated 300-trillion-plus cubic feet of natural gas in place. Instead of simply recovering trapped gas that is collected in reserves, we are drilling directly into source rocks and producing oil and gas directly from the rocks, which was never done. The drilling technology is very self-contained. Once the well is producing—which can last for 20 to 40 years—the structure covering it is the size of a two-car garage and about 4 feet high. To get the same amount of energy from a solar structure, you'd need 200 to 300 times the footprint."

A version of this article appeared in the October 2007 issue of Fast Company magazine.