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Haynesville Shale boosts local economy

Tuesday, November 2, 2010 - 7:42am

The Haynesville Shale has had a positive economic impact in our area since the beginning of development in 2008.

"We expect production to continue for years and years," Katie McCullin, Chesapeake Energy spokesperson said.  The Haynesville is one of the largest natural gas shales in the world.

Chesapeake Energy discovered the shale in 2008 and has since become the largest producer and most active driller of new wells in the Haynesville area.  "We've been very pleased with the results.  We have 530,000 net acres with the Haynesville Shale, and we'll continue producing those," McCullin explained.

At the rig sites, the energy company works to produce natural gas, which is a clean, abundant, affordable and American fuel.  McCullin described that this type of fuel "has about thirty percent less pollution associated with it as opposed to gasoline, and fifty percent less than dirty coal."  Chesapeake Energy believes this shale allows America to have the opportunity to stop relying on foreign oil and coal.

The growth in natural gas production related to the shale also brings increases in jobs in areas near the thirty-five Chesapeake-operated rigs.

"Each rig accounts for 180 direct jobs, and for every one of those jobs that's a paycheck that goes home and is spent in local restaurants and local shopping centers to help fuel our economy," McCullin said.

Billy Franklin, The Village of Grand Cane Restaurant owner in DeSoto Parish, has seen a major influx in lunch time traffic due to the Haynesville Shale-related jobs in the surrounding area.  With all of the service companies that work in the oil industry, "on Tuesday and Wednesday and Thursday, we are packed down.  We serve probably about 175 to 200 people in two hours," Franklin explained.

The town of Grand Canes is a booming example of how these gas-related jobs bring an increase of revenue in the area.

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