Oil field support company gets mixed reviews

By Tracy Clemons – bio|email

SHREVEPORT, LA (KSLA)- A proposal for a new oil and gas support facility in the Mooretown area of Shreveport is stirring some controversy. Some people from the community say it would bring more burdens than benefits.

Plans are for the proposed oil field service company to go up near the intersection of Jewella and Hollywood. It will provide services for the Haynesville Shale Wednesday, the site plan went before the Metropolitan Planning Commission.

Linus Mayes says he's concerned about the traffic that it will bring.

"With the big trucks, and the traffic that's going to come through, the hazard for liability...that matter has not been discussed," he says.

24 trucks carrying material to and from the oil fields will be washed there.

"I shouldn't sit on my porch on Pleasant and look across the street and see a six foot fence, and I'm six feet, and I can see a truck being washed or dirt being dumped," says Harvey Austin.

"I'm concerned about the residue that may come off those trucks. How it may get into our drain system," says State Representative Barbara Norton.

Weatherford International is behind the plan. Area Manager Thomas Distefano says the fuss over traffic is overblown.

"There's 14,000 vehicles that move through that intersection to date. What we're proposing is less than a quarter percent increase," he says.

He also addresses pollution concerns.

"There's not going to be any discharges from the property in the sense of chemicals and things of that nature."

The new facility will bring three of Weatherford's current facilities under one roof. Not all its employees will make the move, which means jobs for the area. City Councilman Joe shine says that's good news.

These are tough times. We need jobs. We need people to go to work. We need to increase our tax base. We can't cherry pick what we bring in.

Distefano expects about 70 openings at the site will be hired locally. That's just for the first phase, which could be completed as early as January 2012.

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