Prospectors Flocking to White County

June 8, 2005--Posted at 10:30 PM CST

WHITE COUNTY--Texas tea, and black gold? It is a possibility in White County, that is if the prospectors who are paying for the right to this land, find what they are looking for.

Willie Hichborn said a land man came knocking on her door in White County. He was looking for the chance to strike it big. Prospectors from across the country are coming to Searcy and the surrounding areas to what is locally known as the "Hot Zone", an area extending from Faulkner County through eastern White County and Southern Cleburne County. Drilling companies are sending out their troops to sweep up the rights to the land.

I asked Hichborn if they could drill on her land and she said, "Yes and I get an eight percent royalty."

White County Judge, Bob Parish is looking forward to the financial boost as well.

Parish said, "It has had a great boost to our economy in White County because these property owners are giving the rights to these companies, sometimes for 100 to 150 dollars per acre."

Parish said that drilling has already begun in southern Cleburne County. A recently dug well struck gas and is pumping out $7 worth of natural gas per minute. Calculate that to one year and just one hole in the ground produces over $3.5 million dollars per year.

Drilling has not occurred in white county but we can expect that to begin in the near future.