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What is the Haynesville Shale Natural Gas Field?

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The Haynesville Shale Natural Gas Formation Field is a shale rock deposit located in Louisiana and East Texas. It also extends into Arkansas.  The Haynesville Shale Play is sometimes referred to as the Shreveport Shale or the Louisiana Shale.  Experts estimate that the Haynesville Shale play holds between 20-35 trillion cubic feet of natural gas which would be one of the largest natural gas finds in the United States.  This would boost the Louisiana and Texas area economy.  It is already making landowners very wealthy as companies race to buy minerals rights.

Haynesville Shale History

The Haynesville Shale is a term used by Drillers of the shale formation.  The Haynesville Shale rock formation dates back more then 100 million years ago and lies below the cotton valley field. Geologists have know about the Haynesville Shale Natural Gas Field for a long time but due to the cost of drilling the formation, combined with low price of natural gas, it did not make economic sense for companies to drill.  With the recent price spike of natural gas, it NOW makes economics sense for these companies.  Natural Gas companies are flocking to the Haynesville Shale field in Louisiana and Texas as well as shale fields all around the United States!  Two companies, PetroHawk Energy( HK ) and Goodrich Petroleum ( GDP ), arrived at the Haynesville Shale area first.  The public later found out that Natural Gas giant Chesapeake Energy ( CHK ) was there as well.  Chesapeake thinks the Haynesville Shale could potentially hold over 200 trillion cubic feet of recoverable natural gas!

Horizontal Drilling - Haynesville Shale

There has also been a change in shale well drilling techniques.  Well drilling companies now rely on Horizontal Drilling and new Fracturing Techniques.  A Haynesville Well is first drilled vertically followed by a horizontal drilling ( First down, then over).  Many years ago drilling a horizontal well would have taken up to 90 days depending on the type of Shale.  Now, companies can do it in 30-45 days.  Fracturing the shale in order to extract the natural gas requires a huge amount of water.  A sand and water combination is shot at the shale at very high pressures.  This causes the Haynesville Shale rock to fracture and the natural gas release.  This is another area where technology has been improved over the years.  You now start to see how higher natural gas prices, faster well drilling, and newer technology can be combined to make economic sense.  As far as production in the Haynesville Shale goes, natural gas prices have been trading between $6-$7 over the past several months.  Like the Haynesville Shale, the Marcellus Shale will be active until $5 is hit and then drilling will take a big hit as it will not be economical.

Haynesville Shale Parishes

The Haynesville Shale is located below the Cotton Valley and Elm Grove Field.  Here is a list of parishes in Louisiana where most of the drilling is taking place:  Caddo, Bossier, DeSoto, and Webster Parishes.  If you live in these areas, you've probably been asked to lease your mineral rights.

Haynesville Shale Jobs