Federal officials have urged Helis Oil & Gas to consider alternative sites for a proposed drilling project in St. Tammany Parish.

The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers says the 10-acre site proposed along I-12 near Highway 1088 is 91% wetlands and that Helis should consider other sites that would be "less damaging" to the environment.

The state Department of Environmental Quality has asked the company for more information about its plans for drainage and the disposal of fill material.

The Corps says further consideration of the company's application to drill will be delayed until it gets a response from Helis.

The Advocate reports that such inquiries from government officials are considered to be a normal part of the process of acquiring a permit for such a project.

St. Tammany Parish President Pat Brister agrees with that assessment.

She told FOX 8 Tuesday morning, "I think it's the regular process they go through to make sure they have every base covered and every contingency taken care of."

A spokesman for the company told the newspaper that Helis is working on a written response.

Helis has proposed using the process known as "fracking" to extract oil from the Tuscaloosa Marine Shale.