Looks like shale is where the action is these days, at least when it comes to oil and natural gas development. We’ve previously mentioned development of the Barnett Shale formation in Texas, the Bakken in North Dakota and the Marcellus formation in Pennsylvania and New York, and now add to the list the Haynesville Formation.
From Dow-Jones, an article that focuses on Chesapeake Energy‘s activities:
Chesapeake has been a particularly active acquirer of land in the Haynesville play. Like other shale reservoirs, Haynesville requires more costly and technologically advanced drilling techniques to extract gas embedded deep in rock formations, but high natural gas prices have made such endeavors profitable.
According to the most optimistic estimates, Haynesville could produce up to 245 trillion cubic feet equivalent of natural gas, enough to supply the entire U.S. for a decade.
High energy prices and new technological developments in horizontal drilling and hydrofracturing have made these kind of developments profitable. To be sure, there are obstacles to overcome. From the Shreveport Times.
BATON ROUGE — Producing natural gas from the Haynesville Shale is not as simple as drilling a hole in the ground, says Don Briggs, head of the Louisiana Oil and Gas Association.
Unlike most places, the gas is not trapped in reservoirs. It’s in small vertical fissures in the horizontal bands of shale that have to be fractured by intense water pressure pumped 12,000 feet underground.
When the gas is in a pool big enough to remove, “we do not have today the infrastructure in north Louisiana to take that gas out” because of an insufficient pipeline system to handle it, Briggs told the Baton Rouge Press Club on Monday. Roads in the largely rural area also are a problem.
“Water is a big concern right now,” he said, because aquifers in northwest Louisiana are insufficient to supply the millions of gallons of water needed for the fracturing process. “They may have to transport water long distances.
The Times also has a location map on the drilling, very interesting.
In addition to the technical problems, there will also be the political challenges, that is, opposition from constituencies who do not acknowledge the energy needs of a modern, prosperous, free society.
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