American Association of Petroleum Geologists (AAPG)
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general public were limited to industry Web sites, hearsay, and limited published articles mostly in journals that are not peer reviewed (e.g., AAPG Explorer, Houston Geological Society Bulletin).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.