We have had a bit of a windfall come upon the quiet little town of Searcy. They have always known that there are natural gas deposits in the shale that lies beneath the surface in White County, the gas companies just didn't have the knowledge or technology to make it profitable to extract. That all changed a couple of years ago when gas prices rose high enough and they developed the horizontal drilling & fracturing technique.
Since 2006 we have had hundreds of wells drilled in the Searcy area with millions of dollars paid to landowners to acquire the mineral rights.We've have millions more poured into our local economy thru the hundreds of employees that have moved to our area, renting homes, staying in hotel and eating at our restaurants.
The downside is, our roads are getting torn to pieces with heavy equipment being transported from site to site and trash is EVERYWHERE ! Traffic is much heavier than it used to be and we've had several fatality accidents involving the truck traffic. We had one family destroyed when a drilling rig being transported to a new site lost control and overturned on their SUV when they were on their way to church. Two young children were killed.
Another downside, to some and a profit center to others, is the way all these well side are permanently scaring and ruining the natural beauty of central Arkansas. (This site is just across the highway from being in the city limits of Searcy.)
DAY 1 Empty field
If you notice the excavator in the distance - That's a new subdivision that's going in
Day 2 Building the roadway to the well site
Not only are these roadways being built all over the county but all that shale has to be dug up from somewhere, causing that much more damage. I'll continue to post pictures in the coming days as this site evolves.