Office of Mineral Resources

DNR Secretary Scott Angelle applauds industry move to conserve ground water in Haynesville Shale area

Monday, March 22, 2010

Natural gas exploration companies working in the area of the Haynesville Shale natural gas formation are continuing to find alternatives to ground water for hydraulic fracturing operations – as evidenced by a recent agreement between a top-five Haynesville Shale operator and a local paper mill.

Exco Resources Inc. has recently signed an agreement with the International Paper Company’s Mansfield Mill in DeSoto Parish to make use of treated water discharged from the mill for hydraulic fracturing in the DeSoto area.

The 12-year agreement will mean EXCO can replace up to 4.2 billion gallons of water that would otherwise come from ground water or surface water sources over that time with re-used water from the Mansfield Mill that has been treated to state and federal standards for discharge.

The agreement between the two companies was worked our with the assistance of the state Department of Natural Resources (DNR), DNR’s Office of Conservation and the state Department of Environmental Quality.

“This is a great example of government and industry working together to be good stewards of our ground water resources,” said DNR Secretary Scott Angelle, who is also chairman of the Louisiana Ground Water Resources Commission. “We will continue to urge these companies to seek innovative ways to help us in our role to appropriately manage our vital ground water resources.”

In the continuing effort to stay ahead of emerging issues in dealing with the intense development of the Haynesville Shale, Commissioner of Conservation James Welsh acted in 2008 to advise operators in the Haynesville Shale to seek surface water or other alternatives to ground water for hydraulic fracturing needs.

Since then, the Ground Water Resources Program has continued to seek ways to improve methods for monitoring and managing ground water in the area, such as requiring operators to report the sources of water used.

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