Louisiana Mid-Continent Oil and Gas Association

Shale Plays and Unconventional Sources

Technological innovations have allowed us to discover and develop vast supplies of natural gas across the U.S. and Canada. We have long been aware that these resources have been locked in shale and tight gas formations, but the key has been in developing the right technologies to extract the resources efficiently.

The new use of multiple technologies together has made unconventional gas more economically viable. The combination of hydraulic fracturing and horizontal drilling allow us to access deep supplies of natural gas that were once thought to be inaccessible.

Oil Shale is a fine-grained sedimentary rock containing a solid material (kerogen) that converts to liquid oil when heated. Like shale gas, oil shale has been technically and economically challenging to develop. Through new research and innovations though, shale oil technologies are emerging.


Haynesville Shale

  • The Haynesville Shale is a geologic formation of sedimentary rock that contains natural gas in the North Louisiana Salt Basin in northern Louisiana and eastern Texas. It is located between 10,500 and 13,500 feet below the surface and covers an area of approximately 9,000 square miles with an average thickness of 200 to 300 feet.
  • The most active areas have been Caddo, Bienville, Bossier, DeSoto, Red River and Webster Parishes of Louisiana plus adjacent areas in southwest Arkansas and east Texas. (Source: DNR)
  • In May of 2011, there were 1,237 producing wells in the Haynesville Shale. (Source: DNR)
  • Chesapeake Energy has estimated Haynesville holds an estimated 245 tcf of natural gas.

Haynesville Links:

Tuscaloosa Marine Shale

  • The Tuscaloosa Marine Shale play is located across a 2.7 million acre area covering East Feliciana, West Feliciana, East Baton Rouge, Washington, Livingston, Tangipahoa, Avoyelles and St. Helena Parishes in Louisiana, as well as a few Mississippi counties. The shale lies between 10,000 feet to 17,000 feet underground.
  • LSU Researchers say the area could produce as many as 7 billion barrels of oil.



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