How Do You Survive A Gas Boom And Bust?


Energy Wire 10/14/2014

MANSFIELD, La. — Local officials in the Haynesville Shale believe they’ve unlocked the secret for successful spending of gas boom wealth.The approach? Invest quickly in health, safety and education, and squirrel away the rest for a rainy day.”Just because we have it don’t mean we have to spend it,” DeSoto Parish Sheriff Rodney Arbuckle likes to say.

The Haynesville story is a lesson for community leaders in places like North Dakota and Texas, where fuel extraction continues to drive local growth. Between 2008 and 2011, northwestern Louisiana reaped the benefits of a natural gas boom, which lifted annual tax revenues in DeSoto Parish — where much of the Haynesville activity was concentrated — from roughly $20 million to $120 million. In fiscal 2013, around the time most drillers left in search of more oily acreage, yearly tax income leveled off at about $40 million.

Now, Louisiana is poised to play host to two of the first natural gas export terminals in the continental United States (Greenwire, June 19). The completion of the Cameron and Sabine Pass liquefaction facilities could once again send gas companies drilling into the depths of the Haynesville, which is located less than 200 miles north of the export sites.

If that happens, parish and muncipal officials say they wouldn’t change a thing about the way they spend boom-time funds.


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