Friday Forum discusses Tuscaloosa Marine Shale project

Friday Forum discusses Tuscaloosa Marine Shale project

The possibilities of the Tuscaloosa Marine Shale and its impact on the economy of Southwest Mississippi was the topic of discussion at Friday Forum held September 13, and sponsored by Alcorn State University, Natchez-Adams County Chamber of Commerce and Natchez Coffee.

State Senator Melanie Sojourner and Chandler Russ, executive director of Natchez, Inc., shared with the audience about the progress of the Tuscaloosa Marine Shale (TMS) project and the potential for jobs and economic impact in the region. The two major players in this oil venture are Goodrich Petroleum and Encana, and they are planning a $500 million drilling campaign for 2014.

“TMS is a marine deposited shale formation that has been the source bed for the Tuscaloosa sand sections that have been drilled in Mississippi for years,” said Senator Sojourner. “New technologies are making it possible to drill the shale itself. Estimates indicate that if TMS play becomes commercial and viable that there will be 30,000 jobs over the next 30-40 years.”

Russ commented, “In the last 22 months the energy sector has invested over $66 billion in expansion in Louisiana and Texas. There has probably never been an economic expansion of an industrial sector in that short amount of time in our country’s history. We have to make sure Mississippi continues to be a partner and a player and continues to market energy to that sector.”

For more information, contact Dr. Ruth Nichols, assistant vice president for Educational and Community Partnerships at Alcorn, at [email protected] or 601.870.6000.