The Barnett Shale in Texas

Tadeusz Patzek

Introduction: By 2011, the unconventional resource plays in the U.S. have become a 300 billion dollar bet about the future of energy supply for our great country.

Historically, the Barnett shale in Texas has been the oldest and the largest shale field project in the U.S. and the world. Up to now there have been about 15,000 Barnett shale wells producing gas, condensate and water. Over the years there has been major progress in well and hydrofracture design. All wells drilled since 2004 have been horizontal, with almost one mile long horizontal sections, and 10 or more hydrofracture stages.

 Objective: Our role is to provide the scientific and engineering analysis of the long-term feasibility of the unconventional resource bet and propose technological solutions to increase the odds in our favor. In Stage 1 of this Sloan Foundation project, we explore production and geological data from the Barnett shale, and identify best practices in well drilling, completion, and operation. In particular, we examine historical production data and perform a novel more accurate statistical analysis of these data.

For more info, please see the Barnett Shale, Texas page.