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Production and Reserves Model: Barnett, Fayetteville and Haynesville

Browning, John R.; Ikonnikova, Svetlana; Gulen, Gurcan1; and Tinker, Scott
1[email protected]

Since the early 1990s, 16,000+ wells have been drilled and 12.5 tcf of natural gas has been produced in Barnett. Vertical wells dominated the drilling activity in the past; today more than 98% of wells are horizontal. Barnett has dry and high Btu sections; in recent years low natural gas prices induced increased drilling activity in high Btu parts. Fayetteville and Haynesville are dry gas plays; drilling followed a similar pattern to that of Barnett, quickly switching to horizontal. Production in these plays started in mid to late 2000s but expanded rapidly until the price of natural gas collapsed in early 2012. Despite this impressive history, there is considerable uncertainty about the future production potential of these three plays. The understanding of the geology and economics of unconventional resource plays is still evolving but it is commonly accepted that there is a wide distribution within a play in terms of well productivity.

In 2011, the Sloan Foundation funded a major interdisciplinary project at the Bureau of Economic Geology to assess resource potential in four major shale plays, including Barnett, Fayetteville and Haynesville. This project represents the most detailed look to date at the geology, production decline and economics of shale gas production in these plays. Using data on more than 16,000 wells from Barnett, 3,500 wells from Fayetteville, and 2,000 wells from Haynesville, numerous studies were undertaken in order to understand the nature of production: geologic mapping of reservoir properties, the decline analysis, analysis of spacing, inferred-refracturing and interference, well economics, and econometric analysis of drivers of production.

 In this paper, we present a model of future production of natural gas from these three shales under different scenarios, using outputs from companion studies: acreage available for further drilling, 10 tiers of varying productivity within each play, 3 depth levels in Fayetteville, the production profile, breakeven economics to adjust pace of new drilling in each tier in each play. Differences across the plays add considerable value in our efforts to understand shale plays.


AAPG Search and Discovery Article #90166©2013 AAPG International Conference & Exhibition, Cartagena, Colombia, 8-11 September 2013