One of the early centers of American shale drilling is roaring back to life, boosted by a building boom of petrochemical plants, fertilizer factories and gas-export terminals along the Gulf Coast.

The Haynesville Shale, a giant natural-gas field in northwest Louisiana, was one of fracking’s hottest spots a decade ago. But it fizzled out about five years ago as gas prices plunged and drillers focused on finding oil next door in Texas. Now, the Haynesville is being reborn as companies with longstanding positions in the area, such as Chesapeake Energy Corp. and newcomers seeking opportunity rush back in and drill again.

Gas production from the Haynesville has risen more than 20% so far this year, to more than 7 billion cubic feet a day from less than 6 billion in January, according to the U.S. Energy Department. The number of rigs active in northern Louisiana parishes and the Texas portion of the field has more than tripled in the past year to 44, according to oil field services company Baker Hughes Inc.

“The Haynesville is where it began,” said Frank Patterson, Chesapeake Energy’s vice president of exploration and production.

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