An Overview of the Barnett Shale Gas Play
S. R. Reeves
Advanced Resources International, Inc., Houston, TX
Gas shales represent an increasingly important component of the U.S. gas supply portfolio. The Barnett Shale, considered an “emerging” gas shale play, provides well productivities and reserve yields not seen in other more established gas shale basins, and is expected to play a significant role in overall supply mix as gas demand grows over the next decade. However, due to its “non-conventional” nature, special exploration and development tactics are required. Some of development tactics, now being implemented by the plays’ largest producer, Mitchell Energy, include the application of waterfracs, enabling the addition of the Upper Barnett reserve to new and existing wells, and also new wells outside the “core” play area, Lower Barnett refracs, and downspacing/infill drilling. Exploration tactics are less advanced, however, with few successful wells outside the core play area as of this writing. Considerable activity is now occurring to expand the play however. This paper discusses the current and future role of gas shales in the U.S. gas supply portfolio, the characteristics of the Barnett shale and how they compare to other shale basins, the potential size of the play, a description and impact of the advanced development technologies being implemented, and some considerations for advanced exploration strategies to find new productive trends in the play.
AAPG Search and Discovery Article #90905©2001 AAPG Southwest Section Meeting, Dallas, Texas