NATCHITOCHES -- There's one certainty concerning the Haynesville Shale and Natchitoches Parish: No one knows if the potentially-mammoth natural gas deposit even reaches that far.
That uncertainty didn't prevent more than 600 people from attending a Wednesday night information forum with representatives from the Louisiana Oil and Gas Association, a non-profit that represents the independent and service sectors of the oil and gas industry in Louisiana.
Residents of Natchitoches Parish filled the Natchitoches Events Center for information on land leasing, royalties and potential red flags.
James Dean left with a pretty good understanding of the shale and what to expect. Of course, Dean came in with a pretty good understanding. The former oil man -- he worked for oil companies Penrod and Mobil -- said the Haynesville Shale is in its "infancy."
"Only time will tell," he said about to how big the shale could be.
Dean's comments summed up the basic points of the forum.
So far, the shale has primarily been confined to northern Louisiana, near Shreveport. No one, not even the oil companies, knows how far it goes. That will only be determined by seismographic measurements.
"This is the beginning, but we don't know," said Don G. Briggs, LOGA President.
Only about 50 wells have been dug within the existing Haynesville Shale-boundaries.
Briggs added that the reason for the forum was due to "a lot of misinformation." His hope is to provide people with "straight-forward, unbiased information" regarding the shale -- where it is and how much to expect for a land lease.