TMS related news. 

In recent quarters, a handful of independent exploration and production (E&P) outfits have touted their acreage in the Tuscaloosa Marine Shale (TMS), a formation that stretches from Texas to Louisiana and Mississippi. The field is far from a new discovery; famed Mississippi wildcatter Alfred Moore spearheaded drilling in the TMS in the 1960s.

The play’s proximity to the Haynesville Shale should make it easier for producers to redirect drilling rigs from the out-of-favor dry-gas play and limits bottlenecks associated with a lack of midstream infrastructure. Despite boasting similar geologic characteristics to the Eagle Ford, the TMS is far from a slam dunk, which explains the low prices that early movers have paid to build an acreage position.

Goodrich Petroleum Corp (NYSE: GDP), for example, amassed about 74,000 acres, paying an average of $175 per acre. Meanwhile, Devon Energy Corp (NYSE: DVN) has accumulated 250,000 acres on the Louisiana-Mississippi border at an average cost of $180 per acre.

Thus far, early movers in the TSM have yet to report drilling results, though management teams have indicated that these tests have been encouraging. Devon Energy recently completed drilling, coring and logging its first vertical well in the play and plans to sink its first horizontal well later this year. Denbury Resources (NYSE: DNR) and its partner EnCana Corp (TSX: ECA, NYSE: ECA) are at a similar stage in their drilling program and plan to sink a horizontal well in September.

During EnCana’s conference call to discuss second-quarter results, Executive Vice-President Jeff Wojahn described its TMS assets as “a promising liquids-rich opportunity” based on “how the rock breaks, the hydrocarbon content and gas in place, and the like.”  Management also pegged the drilling costs for its first horizontal well–a 12,000-feet deep vertical shaft with a 7,500-foot lateral segment–at about $8 million.  

Meanwhile, Goodrich Petroleum’s CEO provided a bit more color on his outlook for the TSM during the Q-and-A portion of the firm’s Aug. 4 conference call:

We’re very comfortable today with what we see from a geologic standpoint of going ahead and drilling wells. In fact we don’t really even see much need, at least in most of our acreage, for pilot holes. There [are] sufficient amounts of historical vertical wells that have been drilled through the Tuscaloosa Marine Shale that we’re comfortable going out and drilling today. I would characterize at least in our view that the sole or the largest single risk to the play is just one of the economic performance versus well costs. We know the Tuscaloosa is present, sufficiently thick, thoroughly oil saturated. It’s just a little unproven in that no one has drilled yet a well that’s demonstrated in the EUR horizontally that would match up to costs. And that’s just [be]cause there haven’t been really many or any of them out there that have done that.

Drilling results in this frontier play could provide a meaningful upside catalyst for these E&P operators. At the same time, if the play proves uneconomic to produce or drilling results disappoint, the low cost of acreage provides a degree of downside protection.


Post any articles or information you believe to be relative to the TMS.

Tags: TMS, headlines, news

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Replies to This Discussion

I donate enough time to the site as it is John.  I'm not sufficiently curious to spend my own money to track down the instruments in question.  Most of the rural parishes in NW LA didn't have web inquiry capabilities prior to the Haynesville Shale.  Many clerks like the idea of digital records especially where interest is high and a new revenue source is possible.  I know that Tangipahoa has remote access as I have used it previously.

i hope you land types don't think i'm being impertinent, but your tradecraft speak, imo, makes gas talk/vernacular seem like 'ned and his first reader'. regards.


I well understand. My buds laughed at remote accessing Woodville. One would have better luck raising and setting sail in the Titanic than any remote accessing to Woodville.

The only way your gonna get anything there is to drive down to that remote South Western Mississippi town and pull da books to access anything and the document in question could be filed under anything, not even remotely related to what you are looking for.

See, friends man, gotta have em. And ones that are ultra familiar with the individual intricacies associated with each various Courthouse.


The mortgage agreement creates the security interest in ALL the property rights transferred to Halcon and therefore is filed in any county or parish having a parcel on the list. I just happened to get it from West Feliciana since it has online capabilities.  There is a separate recorded document that has the entire list of probably 5,400 or so leases for all the individual tracts.

Rough Rice:

Can you post the entire document for us.

~ ~ John

It would cost $145 to download the whole thing.  It is available for viewing for free at the West Feliciana Clerk of Court website.  The list of leases is actually more like 4,968, not 5,400 like I said before (138 pages x 36 leases per page).

Rough Rice:

No problem. Your information has been enough. I got a buddy who will be down that way in a few days and he will get a copy of it.

Thanks for checking and the info is much appreciated.

~ ~ John

I predict that every county and parish where the TMS is proven economic will have remote access within one year of that date.

jim,  I respectfully disagree.  :-)


Woodville might but I bet it don't work correctly. LOL

Now wanna lay some green on that bet. You might want to hire Two Dogs as your advisor on taking that bet.

~ ~John 

Depends on what company sets up the system and the indexing format employed.  Before the Shale I doubt anyone including TD,P would have thought the DeSoto Parish records would ever be available online.  Six years after the fact I still send $100 each month to Jeremy Evans.  I'd like to know how much revenue has been generated.  I suspect that it is enough to get any Clerk's attention.

Tough to predict the future, but I've been to Woodville and the court house a few times myself.  I get along fine with the folks there, but I don't think you'll see them online any time soon.


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