He broke the news at the Amite Rotary Club May 8.
"There's been a lot of money coming into this parish," he said, "when you look at 1,071 wells and around 45,000 acres in Tangipahoa. It started around $100 an acre lease. It's now up to $250," he said.
Leases are being signed with Tangipahoa property owners in the $200 per acre range, said an independent person whose family recently signed a multi-year lease.
Some leases are three-year terms, with options to renew for an additional two years, she said.
An example: a three year-lease offering $200 per acre for a 20-acre tract could bring the Tangipahoa property owner a one-time check of $4,000.
Nearly all of the 507 leases signed thus far in 2012 are north of Amite, although Dufreche has heard rumors of some activity in the Ponchatoula area. "It started in Amite and is going north," he said. "I was told there may be a plate in Ponchatoula."
Most of the exploration in Tangipahoa is for oil, said Dufreche, in contrast to the many gas exploration rigs said he saw recently in the Shreveport area.
Tangipahoa is part of the Tuscaloosa Shale formation, extending from the Florida Parishes to Mississippi. The marine shale extends between sands of the upper and lower sections.
--Oil can be found around 500 feet down in southwest Mississippi to 800 feet in the south end of the Florida Parishes. That's according to a study by the Basin Research Institute at LSU.
--Tuscaloosa marine shale could hold as much as 7 billion barrels of oil, those researchers estimate. It is unproven, they emphasize.
--The Tuscaloosa deposits they studied extend from Washington, Tangipahoa and St. Helena parishes on the east to St. Landry, Beauregard and Evangeline parishes and the Texas line on the west. Imagine an egg on its side for the oval-shaped oil deposit area.
The oil numbers have boomed in Tangipahoa in 14 months.
On Feb 14, 2011 Parish President Gordon Burgess gave Tangipahoa Parish Council members a briefing on the numerous leases for drilling operations and their impact.
--Burgess said then leases covering 13,000 acres were filed with the Clerk of Court's Office for drilling operations. Today, it's about 45,000 acres, Dufreche said May 8.
--Burgess asked parish engineers then to study the impact heavy drill equipment would have on parish roads, as well as any effect drilling could have on the parish's groundwater.
--Burgess also spoke on the possible need for parish ordinances to protect against road damage and water contamination.
--The parish president said he has contacted five north Louisiana parishes last year that have had extensive oil drilling and gas development in recent years, and spoke with the state Department of Environmental Quality and the Department of Natural Resources for more information on types of problems associated with drilling.
Read more: Tangilena.com - Oil lease money flowing faster in North Tangi than 2011