NATCHEZ, Miss. (AP) — A portion of the former International Paper property is now under option to a company involved in the extraction of oil from the Tuscaloosa Marine Shale.
Natchez Inc. Executive Director Chandler Russ told The Natchez Democrat (http://bit.ly/1tNL9ov ) the transaction comes with the promise of 20 jobs. Russ said local officials are under a confidentiality agreement
Tuscaloosa Marine Shale formation is located in southwest Mississippi and central Louisiana. Experts have said the formation could hold 7 billion barrels of oil.
Developers are tapping into the shale that served for many years as the source bed for traditional oil and natural gas exploration but could not be accessed itself for technical reasons.
Oil and gas technology has progressed enough in recent years, however, that exploration and development of the shale is moving forward in earnest, and some industry watchers have projected a 10-year oil boom for the area will soon begin.
The Natchez site will be used to support operations in the areas where the play is developing.
The Adams County Board of Supervisors voted Thursday to approve a one-year option for 50-acres of the 478-acre county-owned industrial site, which was purchased in August 2013 for approximately $9 million.
Information from: The Natchez Democrat, http://www.natchezdemocrat.com/