Senate bill could create thousands of oil and gas jobs in Mississippi

COLUMBIA, MS (WDAM) - Legislation is going before the state Senate this week that could create thousands of oil and gas jobs, unlock precious state resources, increase mineral right royalties and increase state tax revenues by millions of dollars.

Bill 25-68 drafted by Chairman of the Senate Energy Committee Terry Burton would allow for access to carbon dioxide pipelines which were constructed by Denbury On-shore, a Texas based company.

According to legal documents Denbury used eminent domain to obtain property that was to be for the benefit of the state, however years later over half of the Co2 from Mississippi is being shipped via pipeline to Texas. Carbon Dioxide is used in advanced oil recovery that could revitalize Mississippi oil fields.

The bill would allow fair access to the Mississippi Co2 lines, end the misuse of eminent domain, allow fair market prices for mineral right holders, and increase state oil production by hundreds of millions of barrels.  Bruce Monroe, a Mississippi mineral right holder, was in Hattiesburg Monday advocating the bill.

Monroe said, "This is a very unique state with a very unique resource. It is the only CO2 source east of the Mississippi River. It's one of the largest in the world and even a few years ago 100% was staying in the state, now more than 50% is leaving the state creating jobs and a tax base in other states."

Many of the oil fields abandoned and in need of enhanced oil recovery techniques lie in Marion, Lamar, Jasper, Covington, Wayne and Clarke Counties. Monroe says the senate bill is up for vote at the end of this week.