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The Haynesville Shale Play of Northwest Louisiana and East Texas

Sharp, John L.1
1 Geology, Chesapeake Energy, Oklahoma City, OK.

The Haynesville Shale is an Upper Jurassic (Kimmeridgian) unconventional gas play that underlies approximately 3.5 million acres in northwest Louisiana and east Texas. Stretching from Harrison County in the northwest to Sabine and Natchitoches parishes in the southeast, the Haynesville Shale play holds promise of becoming one of the most significant natural gas discoveries in the United States. High matrix permeability and pressure gradients up to 0.90 psi/foot allow these wells to initially produce at very high rates.

Chesapeake Energy drilled the first horizontal well in this play in Caddo Parish in June 2007, and announced the discovery in March 2008 after completing several confirmation horizontal wells. For years, operators had been aware of strong gas shows coming from the Haynesville Shale, and several companies had even tested and produced minor volumes of gas from vertical wells. The play didn’t emerge in force, however, until horizontal drilling and hydraulic fracturing were applied to the formation. Initial rates of up to 15 MMCFD and estimated ultimate recoverable reserves of 6.5 BCF per horizontal well make this a play of unique interest. In the past year, the rig count has dramatically increased and there are approximately 70 horizontal wells currently being drilled. As of early December 2008, the Haynesville Shale contains 35 producing horizontal wells in the Haynesville Shale, 21 of which are Chesapeake operated wells. This new play is expected to continue its explosive growth and become a major source of natural gas for years to come.


AAPG Search and Discovery Article #90090©2009 AAPG Annual Convention and Exhibition, Denver, Colorado, June 7-10, 2009