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A Natural Gas Reemergence in the Haynesville Shale

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“[The Haynesville] was largely written off by industry two to three years ago, but it has reemerged stronger than ever,” Doug Lawler, CEO, Chesapeake

As an aging, dry, but nowhere near dead, natural gas titan in Northwest Louisiana and Eastern Texas, the Haynesville is our third largest shale play, now yielding around 6.3 Bcf/d and potentially holding nearly 500 trillion cubic feet of gas (here). With only a few oil-directed rigs, the Haynesville accounts for less than 1% of U.S. shale oil production, but 13% of shale gas production.

In recent years, the Haynesville was nudged out of the market a bit in favor of the lower cost supply in the Marcellus, Utica, and associated gas from oil production, the latter accounting for 20-25% of total U.S. gas output. But pipeline bottlenecks in the critical Northeast that keep prices lower and shut-in production are breathing new life into the Haynesville. Rig counts in the play are up 21 to 37 since mid-November, and “re-fracturing immediately increases gas rates 700% and sustains a 400% increase for three months in the Haynesville” (here).

The Haynesville has some advantages over other U.S. gas plays. Located near several major pipelines, there’s no transportation bottleneck like there is in the Marcellus/Utica region. Public opinion wise, producers in both Texas and Louisiana have an underrated edge because oil/gas production is ingrained in the culture, as opposed to Ohio and Pennsylvania, where major development is relatively new.

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Written by Jude Clemente

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