Bulletin Discussion

Brittenham's discussion of our article on the geologic analysis of the Haynesville Shale in east Texas and western Louisiana pertains to the original discovery of the Haynesville shale play. We welcome Brittenham's clarification of the function that Encana played in developing the Haynesville and Bossier shale plays as representative of Encana Corporation at that time. Establishing who discovered a play first seems to be quite subjective because of the limited public knowledge contained in publications, talks, and listings of wells and targeted horizons (e.g., state rosters, databases [e.g., IHS, Drilling Info]). Hammes et al. (2011) referred to an AAPG Explorer article by Durham (2008), which was the only published source that referred to the discovery of the play during the writing and submission of our article. Unfortunately, Brittenham's presentations (Brittenham, 2010a, b) at the AAPG 2010 and Society of Independent Professional Earth Scientists 2010 conventions postdated the submission and acceptance dates of the Hammes et al. (2011) article. Until then, resources to the general public were limited to industry Web sites, hearsay, and limited published articles mostly in journals that are not peer reviewed (e.g., AAPG Explorer, Houston Geological Society Bulletin). Furthermore, unless you attended Brittenham's talks, it is not apparent from his slide presentation that Encana was the first one that discovered the play. Our article submitted in 2010 and published in 2011 was based on the best information available to us at the time. A discussion about the discovery of the mid-Bossier Shale was beyond the scope of our article. We appreciate the author's attempt to clarify the discovery history of the Haynesville play, but alternative interpretations by other operators might still be possible. We are also looking forward to additional contributions from Encana, Chesapeake, and other operators that will increase our knowledge of this highly important gas province.

Hammes et al. (2011) provide an excellent technical compilation of the geology of the Haynesville shale-gas play in east Texas and west Louisiana. However, their citation crediting Chesapeake Energy Corporation solely with the commercial discovery and naming the play is poorly founded. The article cited (Durham, 2008) does not support that conclusion beyond the fact that Chesapeake was one of the first to announce the play. Furthermore, Durham's article in the AAPG Explorer did not attempt to document the discovery of the play, but instead was an interview of companies who, at that time, had publicly announced their interest.

Brittenham (2010, slide 9) presented the early history of Encana in the play, which predates the activities and announcements by Chesapeake and others. Hammes et al. (2011) also do not mention the significant potential of the mid-Bossier Shale (Brittenham, 2010, slides 16, 20, and 24) that overlies the Haynesville Shale over much of the area mapped by Hammes et al.

A summary of the events and timelines from publicly available data sources (IHS Energy) illustrates that, remarkably, at least three companies had an early knowledge of the play, drilled wells in vastly separate areas, and had early well-production test data with sufficient gas flow to credit with discovery. In sequence of drilling, those wells were drilled by the following:

  1. Encana Oil and Gas (U.S.A.) Inc. in Red River Parish, Louisiana

  2. Penn Virginia Oil amp Gas LP in Harrison County, Texas
  3. Chesapeake Operating Inc., in Caddo Parish, Louisiana

Encana discovered the mid-Bossier shale play through its drilling and early evaluation program in western Louisiana, concurrent with its Haynesville evaluation.

Explorer Article

Explorer Article

Despite its “fits and starts” drilling history, the Tuscaloosa Marine Shale has begun to garner some respect– specifically, it appears to be on the brink of becoming a bona fide commercially productive play.

Explorer Article

Independent companies, both large and small, are widely acknowledged for spearheading the shale play phenomenon. “Nimble” usually is the operative word here.

Explorer Article

If you're a geoscientist who has not yet formally applied for licensure to practice your trade in Louisiana, don't despair. The registration deadline has moved - once again.

Explorer Emphasis

Explorer Emphasis Article

The Louisiana Professional Geoscience Practice act was passed but is now about to become active and licensing applications are becoming available soon.

Explorer Emphasis Article

Wil who? Don’t look now, but the Wilcox Trend is making a name for itself – thanks to high oil prices and technology applications, such as hydraulic fracturing.

Explorer Emphasis Article

Some things are worth waiting for: The potential of the Tuscaloosa Marine Shale has the E&P industry chomping at the bit, awaiting the seven billion barrels of oil estimated for recovery.

Explorer Emphasis Article

Nuisance? For a long time the Tuscaloosa Marine Shale was considered an irritating target for drillers – but time and economic dynamics have a way of changing perspectives.

Explorer Geophysical Corner

In recent years, a number of workflows have been developed to use spectral decomposition for 3-D geomodeling to extract architectural elements such as channels.

Education Conference Course

Houston Texas United States 10 November, 2014 11 November, 2014 10487
Houston, Texas, United States
10-11 November 2014

This course summarizes the major advances and current controversies in dolomite research.

Coming Soon

Check back often. "Find an Expert" feature is coming online soon!