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The Tuscaloosa Marine Shale, An Emerging Play

Kirk Barrell
[email protected]

The Tuscaloosa Marine Shale (TMS), a source rock, occurs above the prolific deep Tuscaloosa sands and averages 150-200' in thickness. The shale is uppermost Cenomanian to early Turonian in age (92-94 million years ago) and was deposited during a major transgression during the Tuscaloosa 'A' Sequence. In 2010, Devon Energy commenced a large lease acquisition effort across the TMS play. Active operators are Encana, Devon, Goodrich, EOG, and Halcon. To date, over two million acres have been leased. The most significant completion to date has been Encana's Anderson 18H #1 well with a thirty day initial potential of 1094 barrels of oil equivalent per day. EOG's Dupuy Land Company 20H-1 well was drilled to a measured depth of 16907' in 28 days. The longest lateral of 8932' was achieved also by Encana. None of the recent completions have produced long enough to determine a decline rate, type curve, or recoverable reserves. Twenty three wells are currently in the permitted or planning stages. At this early stage in the play, economics are not confirmed. Drilling new wells and performing additional analyses will lead to the definition of the play boundaries and 'sweet spots' where economics will define the full development of the shale. It is believed, that once the play is fully de-risked and in development mode, costs will range from $9-12 million per well. Without known initial producing volumes and decline rates, it's currently impossible to determine the economic viability of the play.

AAPG Search and Discovery Article #90167©2013 GCAGS and GCSSEPM 63rd Annual Convention, New Orleans, Louisiana, October 6-8, 2013