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.

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Replies to This Discussion


I know every square inch of Brushy Creek. I have ridden there for years. Most folks don't remember my ugly mug, but most remember the Yellow (Palamino) Stud Horse I ride.

You may recognize him from on the trails. See attached file.

Between Two Dogs, (dogs and that stud horse), they could probably tell us were the TMS sweetspot is. Probably got way more sense than us.

Brushy Creek aint going to stay quite and peaceful for much longer when all them drilling rigs show up. LOL

Actually went out for a quick ride this past weekend and stayed Saturday night at the Primitive Camping Area. I also stay over at the Brushy Creek Guest Ranch a good bit when I am out there.

We will have to get together one day and make a ride.

~ ~ John


Good looking horses

Thanks for the compliment JM,

Spoiled too, but they give it back in good manners and great times.

~ ~ John

Horses are much better looking than the rider.

You have some nice looking horses, Yea we go up there all the time and ride. We pretty much stay at the primitive site unless my wife goes then we stay at the other place. We were up there two weeks ago and had a good ride, When we get lost, I give my horse his head and he brings me back to the horse trailer. 


Next time you head that way give me a shout and I will try to meet you guys.

I have spent a few nights looking for lost folks out there. Some funny stories for sure. There a few tricks out there that most people don't realize. As long as you never cross a paved road always follow the water. Tiny streams flow into bigger streams, they flow into various creeks and then they all flow into Brushy Creek and if you follow the flow of Brushy Creek it will bring you back to camp.

Might give a person a lot of twists and turns compared to the more direct trail to camp, but it will always get you there.

Some horses have a good sense of direction back, like yours, but I have seen some that were two blocks from their barn and could not find it. LOL. They were the exception however.

~ ~ John


i'm not a horseman. so, my saying those are two good looking mounts, doesn't/shouldn't carry much weight. but, imo they are.

growing up, most of my friends kept horses at the nearby memorial park stables. and, over the years i rode them all. 

of those times and of those horses, there's one of them that, imo, is notable. he was a palomino named 'tnt'. oh, i guess it's relevant to my little tale that he wasn't gelded.

as i've said, i'm no horseman, but old tnt sure taught me a lot of really funny, to a horse, tricks.

the one i remember as my first lesson was when he filled his belly up with air or something like that as i was saddling him. i wasn't on him for ten seconds, after the time he decided it was time to lower the boom on me via a roy rogers/trigger sort of lets spin around in place as fast as we can thing, that i was kissing dirt.

the good news is that he didn't leave off with just teaching me that one lesson. no, sir.

over time he showed me many other of the sorts of things that i guess that horses see humour in.

i'm sure you've never turned you back to a horse that'd been really, really watching everything you were doing. you know, such that his eyes were about to come out of his head. well, i have. and, i'm sad to say that i did it with him more than once. i found that in so doing there were two outcomes.

one, imo, much preferable to the other. now if asked, 'jim, would prefer to be kicked or bit by a horse", i can honestly answer, i'll take the bite every time.

i could go on and on about the many other neat tricks he knew and taught me. but, i'll close by saying now that i'm a good bit older i'm really glad i had younger bones back then.

jim weyland 


Yes one has to have a good understanding with them or they will see if they can educate you. I prefer and expect mutually educating each other in a harmonious way, with mutual respect. Sometimes that can be a little test of will.

However, its mind over matter because 200lbs vs 1200lbs aint a fair shoving contest. LOL

Thanks for the complements on the horses.

~ ~ John 


Kirk Barrell gave a detailed reply to Joe Aldridge over on the Amelia Website. I copied it an turned it into a PDF. See the attached file for the full reply.

Here is an excerpt from the beginning of the reply. Interesting and educational reading for sure. It tells a lot about the conditions found in the deeper part of the play.


Part 1

Dearest Joe,

First thank you for your post and comments.  I acknowledge your deep passion for the oil business.  I don’t know you so I couldn’t have a personal problem with you, but when you attack a man’s character, you should always be prepared for a response. For the past 23 years I have heard about your Sunday “sermons” on the steps of the Plains Baptist Church.  On Mondays I get a call “Joe Aldridge said this. Joe said that”.  Unfortunately, I would say that 70% of the time, the information you disseminated was inaccurate and that is bad for those you misinformed. It makes you feel smart and important, but it doesn’t assist them with making correct decisions or managing their expectations.  Over the years, I’ve placed landowners in the Port Hudson area in three groups 1) those in the unit that became very wealthy 2) those that didn’t end up in the unit but eventually got over it and 3) those that didn’t end up in the unit but never have recovered.  I believe that you fall in Group #3.  It is what it is.  In 1993, I hoped that the new 3D at Port Hudson would have included ole man Lormand’s land since he originally was in the unit, but later was taken out.  The 3D did prove that he was outside of the gas/water contact. I still drilled an $8 million 22,500’ wildcat on his land attempting to find him something bigger than the Tuscaloosa sands. Unfortunately, like baseball batters, geologists are wrong more times than right.

~ ~ John






Its interesting that you did not include my response to Kirk.

Here it is:

Good Morning Kirk,

Its nice to know that I'm your "Dearest". Its also interesting to Know that I've been a thorn in your side for 23 years. I guess that is where this becomes personal from your standpoint. Its also interesting that until recently when you started to draw the Northern portion of EBR Parish out of the TMS play I've been very complementary of you. You and Griff McKowen put the Mckowen Block of Leases together for 300 an acre and I thought that was great. Now you are representing the individual or group that took those leases and now wants to flip them. Interesting to say the least.

As for the AC. Again, I was told by the landman that leased my property that Amoco was interested in drilling the AC. So I leased for a very nominal amount. You later told me that was not correct. That Amoco had no intention of drilling AC and you have reiterated that here. However, it has been confirmed by two Landmen recently that there was a JV between Amoco and UPR as they understood it. I have purchased the Tobin's for this area recently and they show that Amoco, UPR, CHK and OXY were all interested in the area at that time and together had a good block put together. So either someone has given me incorrect information or you were out of Amoco's loop so to speak at that time.

I could go on about your accusations but my point is simply that I have logs of the area that indicate the EF/TMS goes far South of your TMS delineation. The Logs I have have been confirmed as having EF and/or TMS in the well bores by degreed consulting geologists. They show high resistivity which should make them producible in EF/TMS. That's all I have to go on. I simply feel I have to protect myself and my property from being drawn out of the Play by someone with position and stature that is presenting information I consider erroneous

Since y'all are getting pissy, bottom line is ... Time will tell, Sh!t will smell, and Water will seek its on level. That is the three things you can always count on.

First thing you learn as an apprentice plumber is don't bite your fingernails.  


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