What is the Haynesville Shale?


Encompassing approximately 9,000 square miles in northern Louisiana and eastern Texas, the Haynesville Shale has an average thickness of 200 feet to 300 feet. Current predictions for the Haynesville Shale have 251 Tcf of technically recoverable resources with a total estimate of 717 Tcf of original gas-in-place, shale gas volumes which are rivaled only by the Marcellus Shale Play which covers a significantly larger geographic area of 95,000 square miles (DOE, 2009). “Technically recoverable resources” refers to the estimated total amount of gas considered recoverable with current technology regardless of cost while “original gas-in-place” refers to the estimated total volume of gas contained within the reservoir regardless of whether it can be recovered (DOE, 2009).

The 100 million-year-old Haynesville Shale gas formation lies approximately 10,500 ft. to 13, 500 ft. below the surface. Until recent advances in horizontal drilling and hydraulic fracturing technology, along with rising natural gas prices, the gas reserves the Haynesville Shale holds would have been technologically and economically unrecoverable (DOE, 2009). While current economic conditions have slowed the exploration and development of the Haynesville Shale, expectations are that activity will be similar to that of the neighboring Barnett Shale of northeast Texas (Dallas-Ft. Worth area). As such, concerns regarding environmental impacts from hydraulic fracturing and produced water are expected to become more prevalent, particularly in regard to water resources and the responsible use of water resources. Experience in the Barnett Shale Gas Play, and to some extent, the Marcellus and Fayetteville Gas Plays, has provided a wealth of knowledge, information and technological advances to address those concerns.

Last updated by Keith Mauck (Site Publisher) May 21, 2009.

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