The so-called Fayetteville Shale play is fast becoming one of the biggest economic boons to hit North Arkansas in many years. The discovery of natural gas has created a rush to drill wells in areas across the northern part of the state, including White, Cleburne and Faulkner counties in North-Central Arkansas.
Razorback Concrete’s plants in Searcy and Heber Springs have benefited from the “gas rush” as energy companies erect wells throughout the region. Each well requires a concrete pad and runoff pit covering almost an acre. The current pace of well construction is keeping Razorback Concrete plants 104 and 112 very busy.
We’ve probably poured 75 to 80 or more well pads over the past five months, and each one requires about 100 cubic yards of ready-mix,
said Charlie Greene, the area manager for plants 104 and 112.
Gas exploration has been a big boost to our ready-mix production in this area, and it has been a big boost to the local economy, as well.
Major energy companies such as Chesapeake Energy and Seeco, Inc., are investing significant resources in the area. The companies are bringing in workers, hiring new employees and building facilities. Related industries are coming into the area as well. Greene reports that equipment suppliers have rented most available space and are busy building new space to house their stock.
I believe the pace of work is actually increasing,
said Greene of the number of drilling sites being built.
Someone told me we now have 37 well sites in White County alone, and they are building new ones all the time.
Studies have projected that the Fayetteville Shale play will have an economic impact of perhaps $2 billion in Arkansas in the coming months.