Encana Corporation has announced they will return 3 drilling rigs to the Haynesville Shale by the end of 2013. The company began drawing back on its Haynesville rigs last year to a current level of 2.
Ragan Dickens with the Louisiana Oil & Gas Association says Encana's decision was somewhat unexpected. "We didn't immediately see this coming, it's good for them, they found out the economics worked."
Most energy companies began drawbacks in late 2011 as supply for natural gas grew while prices and demand dropped. One of the areas hit hardest by the drawbacks was in DeSoto parish. Rig numbers dropped from over 60 to fewer than 10. As a result sales tax revenue dropped from $70 million dollars to $20 million dollars.
Parish Administrator and Engineer Steve Brown says he is cautiously optimistic shale revenue as drilling is expected to pick up closer to 2014. "We're watching every month, we take a real hard look and see if revenue is coming in like we anticipated, and we'll adjust as we go," says Brown.
The parish has trimmed its roads project budget from $30 million dollars down to nothing this year.