“Fracking” in to north Louisiana’s Haynesville Shale has carried natural gas production levels in Louisiana to their highest in more than 25 years, also lowering electricity bills for Louisianans and giving an upper hand to the state’s chemical plants competing with overseas companies.
The Advocate’s Ted Griggs reported Sunday that the roughly 2 trillion cubic feet of natural gas produced in 2010 is 36 percent more than 2009 production and 48 percent more than what the state generated in 2008.
The colossal underground rock brought a “gold rush” mentality to the state when drilling there began, according to the state Department of Natural Resources, and has since cut the price of natural gas in half:
That’s good news for the Louisiana’s chemical plants and their competitive advantage and for residents’ lower electric and natural gas bills. The price even opens the door to exporting liquefied natural gas from Louisiana.
Economist Loren Scott told The Advocate that a key factor in electricity bills is the fuel adjustment charge, which fluctuates depending on natural gas and other fuel prices:
In 2008, the cost for 1,000 kilowatt hours of electricity — a typical customer’s monthly usage — was $110 to $120, said Bill Mohl, president and chief executive officer of Entergy Gulf States Louisiana LLC.
The bill for the same amount of electricity today is $80 to $90 — with the natural gas prices having fallen closer to $4 per thousand cubic feet.
The latest report of Haynesville’s success comes on the heels of an article outlining a lack of severance tax revenue hitting the state’s coffers from the shale. The Advocate reported Feb. 5 that Haynesville wells are exempted from severance taxes for up to two years, and production at the site is expected to plummet long before companies will begin paying severance taxes. Figures from the state’s Legislative Fiscal Office caused an outcry from oil and gas industry leaders, who countered that the tax exemption was a major component of the influx of companies drilling.
Read more on the Haynesville Shale and the severance tax exemption here and a response from a Lafayette oil and gas manager.
To post a comment, please log into your IND account. If you do not have an account, click the "register" button to create one. Facebook comments can be used as an alternative to creating an account at theIND.com.
MAR 6 In this week's post, Jim Brown is remembering former Gov. Jimmie Davis, who was sworn in 70 years ago this week. Included in here is the governor's recipe for raccoon, which was his favorite dish, Brown says. He also tells us who "Sunshine" was - Jimmie's palomino. She's buried at the late governor's farm, Brown says.
MAR 6 Columnist James Gill applies his special combination of wit and sarcasm to our friend Don Briggs in this post. Gill read the oil and gas leader's deposition and almost felt sorry for him -- almost. The problem seems to be related to Mr. Brigg's "stupendous ignorance of his purported area of expertise," Gill writes. He also credits Briggs with doing more for the environmental cause in a couple hours than tree-huggers can accomplish in years.
MAR 6 If you're on the Facebook, you've seen this video of two NOLA police officers line dancing with some Mardi Gras revelers. But this one is even better: it's a NOLA police horse line dancing on Bourbon Street. Hey -- this is Louisiana. We all can get down, if the situation calls for it.
MAR 6 Here's some more new info on the continuing controversy at Louisiana College, this time posted on the Tennessean (so maybe this story is pretty interesting outside of Louisiana, too). The story, originally written by Town Talk reporters, tells us about a document with allegedly forged signatures which was sent to SACS, the organization which issues accreditation for southern universities and colleges. The plot thickens?
MAR 6 When one reads a story like this one on KATC about the person or persons unknown who stole a huge duck balloon, three questions come to mind. First, what kind of person steals a huge balloon used to advertise a fundraiser for the Boys and Girls Club? And second, how can that person drive off with a huge balloon -- and attract no attention at all? And of course, the biggie: what you gonna do with that?
MAR 6 If you're interested in how things might look in 20 or 30 years, here's a good indication. This post by a 19-year-old sophomore in the LSU Reveille is the first in a series about racism. Written by a white girl, it argues that we must discuss racism and acknowledge its existence. We can't pretend it doesn't exist anymore - because it does, she says.
MAR 6 LaPolitics is doing the math on the state's unclassified workforce, and it looks pretty good -- if you're part of it. The top 50 unclassified positions in state government are making a combined $17 million, LaPolitics reports. That's $3 million more than when Jindal took office. (It's also an average salary of $340,000 in case you're interested) What's really interesting is that a lot of these positions are related to college athletics. Huh.
MAR 6 What does Ash Wednesday in NOLA look like? Beaded trees. This Picayune story takes a look at one narrow aspect of the annual clean-up following Mardi Gras: the beads hanging from trees. It takes weeks for crews to remove the trash from the trees, the story tells us.
Read the Flipping Paper!
Click Here for the Entire Print Version of IND Monthly