Photo by Amanda Simmons/Press-Tribune

The oil and gas industry is making a comeback in Bossier Parish.

The northern half of the parish is seeing an increase in oil production while the southern half is seeing it with natural gas. Russell Craig, Commanding Officer of the Commercial Vehicle Enforcement Unit, said now is the time to be in business in Bossier.

“It was slow when everyone went to Pennsylvania, but it’s really blowing up,” he said. “They’re coming from all over to get a piece of the pie.”

Craig said there’s a company based out of Dallas that has sites “wide open” right now in the parish.

“We’ve moved rigs the last three weekends,” he said. “They have really ramped up on their drilling to the point that there’s a new crane company that’s going to start operating over here.”

Motorists may notice an increase in commercial vehicles on the roadways from one end of the parish to the other as a result of the increased production.

“I’m amazed at the amount of commercial vehicle traffic through our parish in just the past 10 years,” Craig said. “It’s twice what it was when I started working here. We’re worldwide right here in Bossier. It’s phenomenal.”

Photo by Amanda Simmons/Press-Tribune | Container trucks are being filled with sand pulled from the Red River for hydraulic fracturing sites as far away as Red River Parish and Sabine Parish.

Trucks are hauling sand pulled from the Red River at a site on Ballard Road and hauling it as far as Red River Parish and Sabine Parish for hydraulic fracturing.  It’s a good thing for Bossier Parish, Craig said, because there was a time when that sand had to be shipped in from other places around the country.

However, it’s being done just north of Benton and at another location near Cash Point in Bossier City.

“They are moving trucks through here non-stop,” Craig said.

In the northern part of the parish, Craig said they are looking at about 20 new sweet crude wells coming in.

But it’s not just oil and gas seeing an increase in local production. There has been a pickup in timber and construction as well.

Craig said there’s a 1,000 acre property that’s being cut now that will result in at least 3,000 truckloads moving through the parish. There’s some concern as to what effect the additional commercial traffic will have on parish roads, but his department is committed to making sure the companies are doing their job correctly and safely.

The Bossier Parish Police Jury Commercial Vehicle Enforcement Unit was created in 2009. Its primary duty is to regulate commercial motor vehicle traffic on the parish roadway system, including size and weight, as well as any other public safety issues pertaining to the trucking industry.