Barnett Shale

Geology of the Voca Frac Sand District

“One of Texas’ major frac sand [1] production areas is near Voca, Texas, where sands are produced from the Cambrian Hickory Sandstone on the northwestern flank of the Llano Uplift.” Quoted from the Arizona Geological Survey Repository.

Related: What is Frac Sand? [2]


More at Arizona Geological Survey Repository.

Drilling Slows in the Barnett Shale

Drilling in the Barnett Shale of Texas is at its lowest level since 2000. There are currently only about 25 rigs operating there, compared with over 2000 during the 2007-2008 peak.

More at

Production Declines in Natural Gas Wells

Lots of property owners who signed a lease in one of the natural gas shale plays are now receiving monthly or quarterly royalty payments. Many of these people were pleasantly surprised with the size of their first royalty check — but then shocked to see the size of subsequent checks fall rapidly. What’s happening?

More at

Shale Sweet Spots and Production Declines

Some people think that a few “sweet spots” are supporting most of the production in the oil and gas shale plays. They point to the huge annual production declines and speculate that the “shale boom” will not last very long.

More at USA Today.

George Mitchel

We normally do not report obituaries. George Mitchel, pioneer of producing natural gas and oil from tight shale formations passed away at the age of 94. Here is an article about his work from 2008 by Marc Airhart, Jackson School of Geosciences.

More at Jackson School of Geoscience on

George Mitchel

We normally do not report obituaries. George Mitchel, pioneer of producing natural gas and oil from tight shale formations passed away at the age of 94. Here is an article about his work from 2008 by Marc Airhart, Jackson School of Geosciences.

More at Jackson School of Geoscience on

Foreign Investments in US Shale

Since 2008, foreign companies have entered into 21 joint ventures with U.S. acreage holders and operators, investing more than $26 billion in tight oil and shale gas plays.

More at Energy Information Administration.

Drilling for Gas Under an Airport

Consol Energy has reached an agreement that will allow it for drill for natural gas on 9,000 acres of land at the Pittsburgh International Airport. This isn’t the first time airport property has been drilled for natural gas. In 2006 land surrounding the Dallas/Fort Worth International Airport was part of a drilling deal.

More at Centre Daily Times.

TCO Appalachia and Henry Hub Gas Prices at Parity

“Natural gas at the TCO Appalachia index has historically been priced about $0.25 per million British thermal units above Henry Hub. However, the spread between these two points in spot markets reflects rough parity now, and in forward markets TCO is priced less than at the Henry Hub.” Quoted from the Energy Information Administration website.

More at Energy Information Administration.

AASG on Hydraulic Fracturing

“After decades of hydraulic fracturing-related activity there is little evidence if any that hydraulic fracturing itself has contaminated fresh groundwater. No occurrences are known where hydraulic fracturing fluids have moved upward from the zone of fracturing of a horizontal well into the fresh drinking water.” Quoted from the Association of American State Geologists statement.

More at Association of American State Geologists.

Texas: Injection Wells and Earthquakes

“Most earthquakes in the Barnett Shale region of North Texas occur within a few miles of one or more injection wells used to dispose of wastes associated with petroleum production such as hydraulic fracturing fluids, according to new research from The University of Texas at Austin. None of the quakes identified in the two-year study were strong enough to pose a danger to the public.” Quoted from the University of Texas at Austin press release.

More at University of Texas at Austin.


The natural gas industry has prepared a movie, “Truthland”, that responds to the HBO movie “Gasland”.

More at Truthland@YouTube.

Water Quality Where Hydraulic Fracturing is Used

The United States Geological Survey has published: “Water Quality Studied in Areas of Unconventional Oil and Gas Development, Including Areas Where Hydraulic Fracturing Techniques are Used, in the United States.”

More at United States Geological Survey.

Rouge Fractures

“The chances of rogue fractures due to shale gas fracking operations extending beyond 0.6 kilometres from the injection source is a fraction of one percent, according to new research led by Durham University. The analysis is based on data from thousands of fracking operations in the USA and natural rock fractures in Europe and Africa.” Quoted from the Durham University press release.

More at Durham University.

Hydraulic Fracturing Isn’t the Problem

“Hydraulic fracturing of shale formations to extract natural gas has no direct connection to reports of groundwater contamination [...] many problems ascribed to hydraulic fracturing are related to processes common to all oil and gas drilling operations, such as casing failures or poor cement jobs.” Quoted from the University of Texas at Austin press release.

More at University of Texas at Austin.

Dry Shale Gas Production Trends

The EIA Natural Gas Weekly Update has an interesting graph that tracks the month-by-month dry gas production growth from various shale gas fields in the United States. For example, it shows that production from the Haynesville Shale started to increas…

More at Energy Information Administration.

Texas: Fracking Chemicals and Water Consumption Reports

A new regulation will require drillers in Texas to report the chemicals in their hydraulic fracturing fluid and the amount of water used to frack each well.

More at The Texas Tribune.

Declining Royalty Payments from Natural Gas Wells

Many property owners are very surprised when the royalties that they receive from a natural gas well on their property decline sharply. They are learning about production decline curves.

More at

Learning about Oil and Gas Leases

An article in the New York Times reviews some potential rewards and problems that occur when a landowner decides to lease his property for oil and and gas development.

Related: Mineral Rights [1]


More at New York Times.

Declining Production from the Barnett Shale

An article on the website explores declining production from the Barnett Shale of Texas – the rock unit that supported the first important use of horizontal drilling and hydraulic fracturing.

More at Star-Telegram.

Barnett Shale: 100,000 Jobs and $65 Billion

An article on the website summarizes the economic impact of natural gas development in the Barnett Shale of Texas.

More at

Oh No! Who Really Owns the Natural Gas in Shale?

Is natural gas part of the shale or is it a fugitive commodity that is not an integral part of any specific rock unit? Will a refined legal definition of natural gas in Pennsylvania overturn thousands of historic leases?

More at Business Week.

35 Wells on One Barnett Shale Drilling Pad

Devon Energy has drilled over 4,700 wells in the Barnett Shale field since 2001. Today they are in the process of drilling 35 horizontal wells, all at different compass directions, from a single 12-acre pad. This is believed to be the largest number …

More at

Geographic History of Barnett Shale Drilling Activity

The Energy Information Administration has an interesting animated map on their website that shows the geographic spread of drilling activity in the Barnett Shale around Fort Worth, Texas. It also shows the introduction and spread of horizontal drillin…

More at Energy Information Administration.

Shale Gas and U.S. National Security

The Baker Institute for Public Policy at Rice University has published a report titled: “Shale Gas and U.S. National Security”. “This study assesses the impact of U.S. domestic shale gas development on energy security and U.S. national security, with emphasis on the geopolitical consequences of rising supplies of U.S. natural gas from shale and the implications for U.S. foreign policy.” Quoted from the report summary.

Brine Contamination Associated with Oil and Gas Production in the Williston Basin

“U.S. Geological Survey scientists and cooperating partners are examining the potential risk to aquatic resources by contamination from saline waters produced by petroleum development in the Williston Basin of Montana, North Dakota, and South Dakota.” Quoted from the USGS publication release.

Chesapeake Energy: Land Acquisition Machine

A post on the Seeking Alpha blog details how successful Chesapeake Energy has been at rapidly leasing enormous acreages in all of the major natural gas shale plays in the United States. They author calls them a “land acquisition machine”.

Impact of Barnett Shale Development on Groundwater Resources

The impact of hydraulic fracturing on ground water supplies is a concern in almost every area where the well stimulation method is employed. The Texas Water Development Board has published an informative study: Northern Trinity/Woodbine GAM Assessment of Groundwater Use in the Northern Trinity Aquifer Due To Urban Growth and Barnett Shale Development. Get the report here.

Which is the Leader? Barnett or Haynesville Shale?

The Energy Information Administration recently reported that production from the Haynesville Shale had surpassed Barnett Shale production. Now, energy statisticians are arguing over the numbers. More at

EPA vs Texas Railroad Commission

The Railroad Commission has jurisdiction of natural gas drilling in Texas and the commission disagrees with the United States Environmental Protection Agency on the cause of domestic water well contamination in North Texas. EPA claims that Barnett Shale drilling has caused the problem. More in the Washington Post.

Haynesville Shale is the Top Shale Gas Producer

According to an article in the Houston Chronicle, the Haynesville Shale of Louisiana is now producing more natural gas than the Barnett Shale of Texas, running at a rate of about 5.5 billion cubic feet per day.

How Much Gas in the Utica Shale?

The Utica Shale has a larger geographic extent than both the Marcellus Shale of the Appalachian Basin and the Barnett Shale of Texas. It is also has a much larger total volume. Will its gas producing potential exceed that of the Marcellus and Barnett. An article on the Seeking Alpha blog explores this question.

Side-effects of Shale Drilling

An article in the Houston Chronicle titled: “We Can Minimize Negative Side-Effects of Shale Drilling” explores some ways to mitigate some of the problems encountered in developing the Barnett Shale, Eagle Ford Shale and Haynesville Shale in Texas.

Landowners Sue Chesapeake Energy for Backing Out on a Deal

Several landowners in Texas are going after Chesapeake Energy for promising to lease their Barnett Shale properties and then backing out of the deal. More on a Christopher Helman blog post at

Can the Nitrogen Content of Natural Gas Determine Its Source?

Natural gas has been found in two private water wells in Parker County, Texas. The nitrogen content of the gas may determine if Barnett Shale drilling activity by Range Resources is the source or if the source is shallower rock units. More in the Washington Examiner.

Where Did That Gas Come From?

Two household water supplies in Parker County, Texas are contaminated with methane. EPA says that the gas came from Range Resources wells drilled into the Barnett Shale. Range Resources says that the gas came from the Strawn Formation which is much shallower. More in a article.

Master Plan for Barnett Shale Pipelines

In a competitive rush to lease natural gas properties a pattern of drilling is established. Then pipelines to transport the gas to market must be built to service that pattern with companies still competing instead of cooperating. An editorial in the Fort Worth Star-Telegram calls for a pipeline master plan.

Texas Rule 37 and Holdout Landowners

The Texas Railroad Commission’s Rule 37 is the subject of an editorial in the Fort Worth Star-Telegram. The author explains how this rule that regulates the spacing of oil and gas wells seems to be used to as a way to avoid dealing with Barnett Shale holdout landowners.

Chesapeake Will Drill Over 300 Barnett Wells in 2011

Last year Chesapeake Energy paid out nearly $300 million in Barnett Shale royalties and this year plans to drill over 300 new wells.