Haynesville Shale: Economic Impact
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Uploaded on Jun 16, 2008
Part two of our journey west to visit the Barnett Shale and see first hand what the boom offers: insight into Haynesville Shale economic potential.
FORT WORTH, TX (KSLA) - The potentially prolific Haynesville Shale is already drawing comparisons to the Barnett Shale, which lies about 8,000 feet below the surface of a 6,000 square mile area that covers 20 counties in North Texas, including Tarrant, Johnson and Wise.
It's not yet known exactly how much area the Haynesville Shale covers, but it's generally believed to stretch all they way from the northern part of Sabine Parish, through DeSoto, parts of Red River and Natchitoches, all of Caddo and Bossier, and part of southwest Webster Parish.
It's early in the game here in the ArkLatex, but if the Haynesville hits natural gas gold, it'll be more than just a flash in the pan, if the Barnett Shale boom is any indication. "It's very large and it's had a huge impact on this economy," says Ed Ireland, Executive Director of the Barnett Shale Energy Education Council, a non-profit organization subsidized by the major players in the oil and gas industry.
Ireland says drilling operations in the Barnett shale have already pumped billions of dollars into the local economy in just a few short years..with even bigger expectations for the future, "In the next decade we'll be well over 100,000 jobs and well over $10 billion each year in stimulus to the economy."
And it very well could be a glimpse of the future here in the ArkLaTex. "The economic effects of the Barnett Shale here and what will be true in your area as well is that the money that comes in initially will be spent over and over and over," Ireland predicts. "Initially the economic impact is homeowners and landowners who lease their property or minerals and on to workers that get paid, they spend the money they buy cars and trucks, they buy houses and furniture, the go out to restaurants, they stay in hotels, so the effect, it does just spill over to all aspects of the economy and it's been huge."
That kind of money has also stimulated quite a bit of interest...and questions. The need for education is what prompted Fort Worth mayor Mike Moncrief to call for the creation of the Barnett Shale Energy Education Council. There are lots of questions here in the ArkLaTex as well, and not just from lease-hounded landowners. Shreveport's mayor Cedric Glover and several other city leaders recently made the trek to Fort Worth to meet city leaders there. "We got a chance for our lawyers to talk with their lawyers for our managerial executive level folks to talk with their folks and we're looking at a full range of ideas that we have to deal with."
And there will be plenty of issues to deal with, from how local government handles noise and safety regulation to drilling permits, something Fort Worth City Councilman Sal Espino says is still an evolving process, "How do we make this industry less impact on our residents and neighborhoods, our quality of life, and I think that continues to be a concern and will be a concern."
Espino has seen the impact of the 675 sites that have been drilled in the city since 2001. It's all expected to bring in some $800 million to $1 billion dollars to the city coffers over the next 20 years, along with plenty of new challenges. "We just have to be careful and that's why we've been very prudent with our fiscal policies," says Espino.
"We've learned with each well that's been drilled," says fellow councilman Jungus Jordan. Now, their experience could become a template for cities in the ArkLaTex, as it has for cities surrounding Fort Worth as they too struggle with a whole new set of rules. Jordan says, "A large number of them have taken the ordinance we wrote and used it and incorporated it in their cities locally, and we'd be happy to share that with the folks in Shreveport."
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