Four years ago the DeSoto Parish School Board was rolling in money.....Thanks to the development of the Haynesville Shale Deposit.
This month marks the fourth anniversary of the shale's announcement and it is expected to mark a significant turn in activity.
Record low natural gas prices because of an abundant supply from shale plus a mild winter have oil and gas companies scurrying to oil and gas options that will producer greater profit margins.
That doesn't mean the Haynsville Shale will be ignored. companies like Chesapeake, EnCana and Shell are slicing their rig counts in Northeast Louisiana, but they continue to service thousands of wells already drilled there.
Industry officials predict that once gas prices prices and stabilize, the dry gas fields like the Hanynesville will be hot again, especially as markets are developed overseas for liquefied natural gas.
Over the past four years the Haynesville Shale has brought in thousands of direct jobs and created billions of dollars in new business sales for the state of Louisiana.
Parish wide sale taxes in De Soto Parish in 2010-2011 soared past 120 million dollars blasting the previous years total of 84 million dollars. To date this year 68 million dollars have been collected, which is about nine million less than this time a year ago.
The good news is the school board there is far from broke. It has been able to sock away 44 million dollars into an employee benefits fund and earmark 14 million dollars more into a rainy day fund.