Travel to any region within the state of Louisiana and drilling rigs will most likely be visible. Due to the vast amount of natural gas within the Haynesville Shale, and large sections of crude oil beneath our land’s surface, Louisiana is THE energy state.
Travel to any region within the state of Louisiana and drilling rigs will most likely be visible. Due to the vast amount of natural gas within the Haynesville Shale, and large sections of crude oil beneath our land’s surface, Louisiana is THE energy state. The Tuscaloosa Marine Shale (TMS), the now accessible “wet” play in Central Louisiana offers both oil and gas resources. Unlike the low natural gas prices of the Haynesville Shale, the price of crude oil is sitting at around $93 a barrel. Therefore, this developing region of the TMS is experiencing an increase in permit applications and test exploration.
With the increase in drilling in Central and South Louisiana due to the TMS, many parishes that have not experienced much drilling are now seeing action. As the rigs and the workers show up in the parishes, so do the parish ordinances. While the parishes typically have good intentions of protecting their water, roads and land by enacting new parish ordinances, in some cases, they are simply stifling economic development. With over 20 different shale plays in the United States, companies can be more
selective as to which play fits their exact needs.
The State of Louisiana, under the direction of the Louisiana Office of Conservation, is tasked with the primary statutory responsibility for regulation and conservation of oil, gas, lignite, and other natural resources. Conservation’s objectives are: to conserve oil, gas, and lignite resources; to regulate the exploration and production of oil, gas and other hydrocarbons and lignite; to control and allocate energy supplies and distribution; and to protect public safety and the State's environment from oilfield waste,
including regulation of underground injection and disposal practices.
While the State of Louisiana assumes the overall responsibility for oil and gas regulation, the parishes do play a key role in the development and production process. For example, each parish regulates their own parish roads. Thus far in the Haynesville Shale region, the oil and gas companies have been able to agree to terms put forth by the parishes regarding how roads will be kept up, and who will ultimately hold responsibility. While each parish has conducted their process differently, there has generally been a good working relationship in the Haynesville Shale between the oil & gas industry and the parish governments.
Louisiana is the home to thousands of producing wells with 25% of the oil and natural gas that fuel the United States flowing through the arteries of our state. 50% of the gasoline and diesel fuel that drives the engines of our country flows out of Louisiana as well. In order for our state to continue as a leader in oil and gas production, it will be vitally important for the oil and gas industry, the parish governments and the State of Louisiana to work together as we help move our country towards being less dependent on foreign resources.
President, Louisiana Oil and Gas Association