The Haynesville Shale
Economically, the impact has travelled beyond leasing land. Landowners receive income from pipes that have to run across their land. Mauck has also sold water from the two ponds on his land. He plans to use the money from this to build another pond on his land. Local restaurants and other stores have benefited from the workers who have come to the area, and local workers who had been employed on rigs in the Gulf of Mexico have found work in the Haynesville area. According to Mauck, the oil and gas industry is having a positive effect on the parish’s and the state’s economy.
Rig in the Haynesville Shale (Photo courtesy of www.gohaynesvilleshale.com)
When approached in 2008, Mauck decided that the natural thing to do was to start a website on which landowners could be educated. When he was first approached, he felt uninformed about everything involved in the process. According to Mauck, the site “became a place to connect with people in the area and for us to learn what was going on. Knowledge is power.” The site has become a tool for landowners and professionals in the Haynesville area.
Part of the education involved with the site is understanding the potential impact on the land. While Mauck’s family does not live on the farm full-time, they gather there during holidays and vacations. Mauck and his fellow landowners want the drilling and production to be done right. They want to protect their property, and one thing that has been encouraged has been protecting their property upfront in the lease agreement. Along with this has been a concern about the technology (hydraulic fracturing) that is involved in the process.
“It [safety] is always a concern,” he says. “Producing energy is a messy proposition. Largely, the proof is in the pudding, and the issues have been few. If we don’t drill here, where are we going to drill?”
The hope is that the state will regulate the process. “My fear is that the states won’t follow through with regulations that are already in place and putting regulatory agents in the field.” He is also happy about new technology that is making frac pumping less impactful.
Along with the possibility of monetary gain, Mauck says that the landowners in the area feel a sense of responsibility. “People are excited about possibly bringing this country to energy independence,” he says. “They see it as being part of the solution.”
Upstream Pumping Solutions, Winter 2011