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The Haynesville Shale has been the talk of the town for North Louisiana and East Taxes landowners in 2008.  Residents signed mineral rights leases in record numbers but in 2009, royalty payments have really slowed down due to the economic recession.

Mineral Rights contracts are simple.  A landowner signs a contract with an oil or gas exploration company and usually receives a mineral rights bonus.  The company then drills for oil or natural gas on the landowners property and if anything is recovered, the drilling company generally pays out a royalty.

Chesapeake Energy, a natural gas company, arrived at the Haynesville Shale in 2006.  This company quietly acquired leases for two years and is now one of the biggest leaseholders.  In March of 2008, Chesapeake Energy went public along with several other companies, to let the news out about the Haynesville Shale.  After word started spreading about the potential of this huge natural gas field, the cost of mineral rights leases starting jumping.  In the spring and summer of 2008, more and more companies started acquiring acreage pushing prices to a point where millionaires were being made.

One day, the Haynesville Shale has the potential to be bigger then the Barnett Shale with rig counts jumping from 40 to 70 in 2009.  The recession we are facing has caused natural gas prices to fall rapidly and drilling operations to decline.  Mineral Rights leasing in 2009 is still going on but only at a fraction of what they were back when times were good for the natural gas industry.  For the most part, the land grab frenzy seems to be over but there are still deals being done.  If you are thinking about signing a mineral rights contract, it is good to hire and lawyer and shop around for the best prices.

The Haynesville Shale sweet spots are as followed: Louisiana:  DeSoto Parish, Caddo Parish, Red River Parish, Bossier Parish, Bienville Parish, Webster Parish, Sabine & Natchitoches Parishes.