Louisiana/Mississippi Officials Prepare for TMS

Dec 04, 2013

Communities on both sides of the Louisiana/Mississippi line are hustling to prepare for the economic activity they hope is coming as the Tuscaloosa Marine Shale oil play is developed. "Our challenge is to get ahead of the development," says Dennis Manshack, who directs economic development for West Feliciana Parish. Manshack was a panelist at a TMS conference in Baton Rouge today. While West Feliciana doesn't want fleets of travel trailers housing temporary workers, Manshack says he has spoken with large companies about possibly hosting organized "crew camps" in the parish. Such camps typically have tight security and ban alcohol, panelists said. The influx of workers, if it comes, doesn't happen all at once, says Chandler Russ, executive director of Natchez Inc. "This is not a 30,000-person event for six months," he says. Thomas Tolliver Jr., an official with Wilkinson County, Miss., says communities are working together, even across state lines, and hope to "speak with one voice" to the oil companies. A road maintenance agreement forged with oil companies in West Feliciana is being duplicated in Mississippi, Tolliver says. He says some county residents hope to become overnight millionaires. "We're still waiting," he says. Cooperation notwithstanding, competition may also come with TMS development. Russ says his region will aggressively recruit supply companies, and he says there will be a push in the Mississippi Legislature to expand incentives for horizontal drillers. —David Jacobs, Greater Baton Rouge Business Report           


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