Southwest Mississippi feeling impact of drop in oil and gas pric - WLBT.com - Jackson, MS

Southwest Mississippi feeling impact of drop in oil and gas prices

Source: WLBT Source: WLBT
Source: WLBT Source: WLBT
Source: WLBT Source: WLBT
Source: WLBT Source: WLBT
PIKE COUNTY, MS (WLBT) -

Oil and gas prices keep dropping but not everyone is jumping for joy. 

"I can fill up for about 15 dollars cheaper now," said Pike County resident Rashad Weatherspoon.

Weatherspoon's echoing what drivers across Mississippi right now. They're thrilled to see gas under two dollars a gallon. Those prices are falling because the price of a barrel of oil took a nose-dive.

"We've seen a 50% drop," noted Britt Herrin with the Pike County Economic Development District. "In what? Two months."

Herrin admits the changing costs have put a dent in their oil industry.

"We've had two companies that were in the process of drilling wells that have halted their operations," said Herrin.

But he's not ready to call bust on what they expected to be a business boom. Some of the companies drilling in the Tuscaloosa Marine Shale or TMS aren't breaking even right now. But three companies are sticking out the pricing play. A couple of others are considering an investment in the region.

"I think it more of a timing issue than anything," explained Herrin. "I don't think the TMS is over. It's a matter of time when it comes of age."

Pike County Board of Supervisors President Chuck Lambert is also looking for the silver linings.

"I think oil will eventually go back up," said Lambert. "And I think when it does, those companies are going to be primed and cocked and ready to go with it."

There's the possibility that the slow down could make it cheaper to drill a well. One company estimates it could drop by as much as 30 to 40 percent.

For drivers, who aren't thinking through the domino effect, they just recognize one thing.

"I'm getting gas for cheaper," said Weatherspoon.

The price for a barrel of oil has dipped down to below $60. That's compared to $100 last summer.

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