Monday, June 22, 2009

A Poor Choice of Words?

On Friday, EXCO Resources will celebrate the opening of a new gathering and treating facility in DeSoto Parish, LA for its Haynesville Shale assets. Exco is understandably proud of its success in the Haynesville Play, with a number of wells in the top twenty in terms of initial production. With the opening of a new office, Fort Worth-based EXCO can trumpet its economic development credentials.

This is definitely a good thing, but the first thing I noticed when reading the press release was the title, "EXCO Resources, Inc. to Unveil Facilities for Haynesville Shale Exploitation." Is it just me who cringes at the word "exploitation?" All I think about is the colonial powers of several centuries ago using slave labor to plunder the natural resources of under-developed nations all over the world. Not exactly the image one wants to conjure up when dealing with a quickly developing natural resources play.

While the Haynesville Shale is a definite boon to the regional economy and many land owners' pocket books, it is definitely a double-edged sword. The ancillary impacts of traffic, strain to water resources, fears from the impacts of hydraulic fracturing, etc. have many local residents on edge.

If the Haynesville Shale is truly going to be a world class play, it can't be rammed down the throats of the locals. I know the word "exploitation" is technically correct, but, geez, couldn't the PR and marketing department have come up with something a little better?

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