With all the hoopla surrounding the emerging Haynesville shale play in northern Louisiana, it is easy to focus on certain key E&P companies--and their stock prices--that have jumped onto this opportunity in a huge way. But the local population and community agencies stand to benefit too. In July's state lease sale, the Louisiana Mineral Board collected $48.7 million. More than $46.4 million of that came from eight shale leases, and seven of those were in Caddo Parish. The monies will go to the Caddo and DeSoto parish government councils. Average price was a whopping $30,000 per acre in bonuses and 30% royalty. These numbers have now outstripped the hot leasing action in the most competitive areas of the Barnett shale under certain prime Fort Worth subdivisions where residents are increasingly savvy, and are demanding higher bonuses and royalties. As the Haynesville gas production begins to grow, it will obviously benefit the area's midstream companies as well. Here is one example: Regency Energy Partners LP of Dallas on July 14 hiked its 2008 earnings guidance in part thanks to growing production out of northern Louisiana, where it has gas gathering and pipeline facilities. It raised its guidance by $35 million to a minimum estimate of $255 from the previous number of $220 million. "The increase...is attributable to favorable commodity prices, additional volume growth in North Louisiana, improved fuel efficiencies and higher condensate and sulfur recoveries," the company reported. Meanwhile, a new report from Simmons & Co. International, the Houston investment bank, says that the Haynesville may have resource potential of 90 Tcfe (trillion cubic feet equivalent) if 50% of it is prospective. Goodrich Petroleum, Petrohawk Energy, Cubic Energy and GMX Resources have the highest exposure to the Haynesville on the basis of their enterprise value-to-net prospective acreage, the report says. --Leslie Haines, editor in chief, Oil and Gas Investor, lhaines@hartenergy.com