AREAS OF INTEREST
PERMIANWest Texas And South East New Mexico
The Permian Basin is the most prolific oil and gas producing region in the U.S. It is located in West TX and Southeastern New Mexico spanning 300 miles in length and is 250 miles wide. The basin currently boasts an impressive oil production of 2.2 million barrels per day (bpd) and over 7.3 billion cubic feet per day (Bcf/d) of natural gas. The Permian Basin is one of the largest shale producing regions in North America and is attractive to operators due to the numerous formations that can be drilled. The cities of Midland and Odessa serve as the main hub for oil and gas production activities within the Permian Basin.
EAGLE FORDSouth Texas
Boasting over 1.2 million barrels of oil a day (bpd) in 2015 the Eagle Ford is considered one of the most prominent shale plays in the country. It stretches almost 400 miles from the Mexican border all the way to East TX and is 50 miles wide in some areas. This South Texas play is rich in both oil and natural gas producing from various depths from 4,000 to 14,000 feet. The “Eagleford” is a geological formation found directly below the Austin Chalk formation. The Eagleford in this situation is considered to be the “source rock” meaning that it is responsible for sourcing hydrocarbons to the shallower Austin Chalk above. With its high carbonate shale content the Eagleford is ideal for fracking and is dominated primarily by EOG Resources, ConocoPhillips, BHP Billiton, Chesapeake Energy and Marathon Oil.
Known to many as the “grand daddy” of its time, the Barnett has been called one of the biggest plays for natural gas in the United States, even though it only covers land in Texas. A significant area though, covering over 5,000 miles. Even being one of the most sought after natural gas shales, it is also the most difficult to drill because of all the rock and sand that is surrounding the hydrocarbon deposits. With advents in new technology and improvements in horizontal drilling techniques, drillers are able to produce about 5.3 billion cubic feet of gas and 15,500 barrels of oil each day. In 2015 it was responsible for about 70% of all U.S. gas shale production. It is said to still contain approximately 40 trillion cubic feet of natural gas, just waiting to be found.
BAKKENMontana And North Dakota
Although it is a smaller play, the Bakken still packs a punch in producing around 1 million barrels of oil a day. Gas production is not quite as prevalent, as they only recover around 1 billion cubic feet of natural gas per day. Recently it has been known to produce 458,000 barrels of oil per day. For many years, it was considered one of the greatest shale plays, even though the technology was not there to extract gas and oil, until now. In 2000, the arrival of new techniques, such as horizontal drilling, has opened the spill way to fully exploring and producing this shale.
Being one of the smallest plays for oil in the nation, the Marcellus shale does not come short when it comes to natural gas. Producing only about 50,000 barrels of oil per day, it makes up in natural gas with a reported 14.5 billion cubic feet per day in 2015, which comes out to approximately 30% of shale gas produced in the nation. These numbers make sense, considering 8 out of 10 drill spots in the area are focused on natural gas opposed to oil.
When considering shale plays, it’s important to remember that many of them have been well-known for several years. The Utica play however is one of the newest discoveries for natural gas not only in the United States, but in all of North America. Development on the play only started in 2011. The Utica play gets about 1,425 barrels of oil and 9.5 million cubic feet of natural gas in a 24 hour period. It is possible that this will peak much higher as technology and drilling continues.
The Anadarko-Woodford shale play was first drilled in 2005. This shale play offers about 1,300 barrels of oil per day as well as 47,000 cubic feet of natural gas. It is expected that the Anadarko-Woodford shale play has approximately 22.2 Tcf of recoverable gas. There are nearly 900 wells across the play, and the rig count has stayed fairly consistent over the last few years.
HAYNESVILLELouisiana, Arkansas, And Texas
Pumping out approximately 9.3% of the United States’ daily supply of natural gas, the Haynesville play is one of the most prevalent plays for natural gas in the nation, second to the Marcellus. An astonishing 6.2 billion cubic feet of natural gas is produced daily in this play. It is believed to still have 75 trillion cubic feet of recoverable gas that has yet to be tapped. The Haynesville shale stretched from east Texas to west Louisiana, covering over 9,000 square miles. Yielding 6.2 billion cubic feet of natural gas and 57,000 barrels of crude oil each day makes this play one to be rivaled.
The Fayetteville Shale is an unconventional natural gas play found in Arkansas and is a part of the Arkoma Basin. Its geology is likened to the Barnett Shale in North TX and the Caney Shale on the Oklahoma side of the Arkoma Basin. It stretches approximately 50 miles from Fort Smith to Little Rock and ranges from 50-550 feet thick and can be found from 1,500-6,500 feet deep. This play is named after the city of Fayetteville, Arkansas and is a tight formation requiring fracking techniques to extract the hydrocarbons. Major producers in the Fayetteville Shale include Southwestern Energy, BHP Billiton, Chesapeake and XTO.
NIOBRARASouth Dakota, Colorado, Nebraska, and Wyoming
Niobrara is one of the largest shales and encompasses four different states – South Dakota, Wyoming, Nebraska and where much of the drilling activity occurs in this play, Colorado. The natural gas production in this area is around 4.6 billion cubic feet per day, but as of the beginning of January, 2017, oil production rose from 287,000 to 476,000 barrels per day. It comes as no surprise that companies have implemented aggressive development programs and continue to pursue one of the largest plays in the United States.