GILLSBURG, MS -- What used to be a small Mississippi town filled with dairy farms and cows is turning into an oil-drilling machine.
With a population of 25, peace and quiet used to fill Gillsburg, Mississippi, but not so much anymore. Energy companies are flocking into small towns in Mississippi and Louisiana to search for big oil.
Max Lawson is one of many residents leasing his land to energy companies Encana and Goodrich, where fracking is used to extract oil and natural gas.
According to a LSU study, the Tuscaloosa Marine Shale is predicted to hold seven billion barrels of oil.
Land owners say it's one step closer for America to become energy independent.
"The fracking is working, it's getting better every day, it's helping our economy, and it's keeping the dollars in the United States," says land owner Rhett Anderson.
Resident Max Lawson says "And we're getting dependent on our own country, you know. We're actually creating jobs here, in America."
In 2014, Encana plans to spend 150-million dollars in Mississippi and Louisiana with nine to 12 oil wells over the course of the year.
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