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Jul 13, 2011 7:30 PM by Melissa Hawkes

Avoyelles Parish Landowners Hoping to Get Rich

Many people are hoping the next big oil rush will happen in Central Louisiana.
Researchers said seven billion barrels of oil is in the Tuscaloosa Marine Shale, which stretches from Texas to Mississippi.

Many residents in the Avoyelles Parish town of Marksville have been approached by companies who are interested in leasing their land.

Marksville Resident, Robert Dupuy, who said " it"ll be lots and lots of dollars like the Haynesville Shale if it happens."

Dupuy said he never hesitated for a second when representatives from Pride Oil and Gas Properties came knocking on his door asking if he was interested in leasing his land.

He explained, "they asked us to sign a six-month option and at the end of the option they'd take a lease on half our land."

Landowner Dyrel Dauzat owns 1600 acres in Avoyelles Parish. He was also approached about six months ago.

He said, "only the larger land owners are being contacted. I feel once they block in the large land, then they'll go back and block in the smaller ones."

Companies first started tried to tap into the the oil in Tuscalossa Marine Shale in the 1970s, but were unsuccessful.

The formation is 10 to 14 thousand feet below the land. When drilling first started in the 1970s, drills weren't advanced enough to get all the way down to it, but oil officials are hoping they have the right technology now.

A new technique called 'fracking' and horizontal drilling is being used this time around. Many are hoping it's the key to unlocking the oil that was out of reach before.

Dupuy said he feels "the horizontal drilling is the ticket."

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