Plays that have the capacity to be company-makers often rely on new technologies. Nowhere is this more true today than in the Haynesville Shale, where the application of new techniques has revived a once moribund play. The Haynesville Shale is one of the hottest plays in the U.S. Gulf Coast, and an upcoming AAPG Playmaker Forum will gather experts to discuss how and why.
The convener of the event with many years of related experience, Bill DeMis, is here today to talk to us today about what makes the Haynesville and other Gulf Coast shales exciting.
What is your name and your experience as a geologist / petroleum explorationist?
William D. DeMis. 32 years in oil and gas space. Companies worked in chronologic order, and highest position in each company:
- Pennzoil (Team Leader)
- Marathon Oil Company (Exploration Manager)
- Roxanna Oil Company (Exploration Vice President)
- Southwestern Energy (Senior Consultant, Project manager)
- Goldman Sachs (Senior Vice President/Chief Geologist)
I have lived in Denver Colorado, Cody Wyoming, Midland Texas, Oklahoma City Oklahoma, Houston Texas.
I have worked International New Ventures, mostly Australia and Far East, but also Poland.
I have worked every basin in the US, except offshore.
Basins include: Williston, Big Horn, Powder River, North Louisiana-South Arkansas, East Texas, Permian, North Texas, Anadarko basin, Appalachian
Several basins I have worked twice, once looking for conventional plays, and then later looking for unconventional plays: Williston, Powder River, East Texas, Permian
What is your experience in the Gulf Coast region? Which formations do you think are the most interesting at this point in time?
Extensive Gulf Coast experience in Jurassic systems. The most interesting plays are Haynesville-Cotton valley.
Surely the East Texas Haynesville shale gas play is the most interesting, but the Jurassic shales around the Gulf Coast, Especially into Mexico, have tremendous potential. The Cotton Valley Formation still has tremendous potential.
I worked on the Haynesville play a lot at Goldman Sachs, from a different perspective. We were aware of the Haynesville's Shale Gas play becoming the most desirable shale play in the US; it easily eclipsed the Marecllus because it did not have the deducts seen in the north east, nor the pipeline takeaway problems.
What are your thoughts about the Haynesville? What makes you optimistic? What are some of the things that are happening right now?
The Haynesville is great because of its thickness and over-pressure. A shale gas play this deep should not be as attractive as it is, but its intrinsic (thickness, pressure, etc) and extrinsic properties (proximity to pipelines), make it the current winner. It is close to LNG export and power generation in the Southeast US, meaning that the Haynesville will be setting the price of natural gas for decades to come.
What are the other plays? What makes them interesting?
The Point Pleasant play (sometimes called the Utica Play) is a monster. Giant IPs, enormous EURs and both dry gas and a liquids-rich play. This play will be dead for decades, until the state of New York allows for pipelines across the state.
Please comment a bit about the Eagle Ford, Austin Chalk, and Tuscaloosa Marine Shale. What are some of the most impactful technologies?
Eagle Ford will continue to drive oil prices and be an enormous research laboratory for all companies because so many all have a big foot-prints (Conoco, EOG, etc) and therefore enormous resources under their acreage. A little bit of innovation that results in a 5% improvement in recovery will ripple through to the entire giant play.
Please describe the format of the Playmaker Forum. When will it take place? Where? What are the goals of the event?
The goals of the Playmaker Forum are:
- Disseminate knowledge to the members of the AAPG
- Make members aware that yesterday's moribund play, the Haynesville, can become today's hot play, even in the face of lower commodity prices
- Make members aware that today's tier II basins or plays, can be rejuvenated by technical innovations
- Some of the innovations being used in the Haynesville play can make their tier II play the next hot play
- As operators adopt new technologies in other plays, the "Sweet spot" in those other plays will expand.