Bossier Shale - Bossier Shale Map - Natural Gas Field

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Bossier Shale Natural Gas Field - Bossier Shale Map - Texas, Louisiana

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The Bossier Shale, often linked with the Haynesville Shale, is a geological formation that produces hydrocarbon and delivers large amounts of natural gas when properly treated.  There is some confusion when distinguishing Haynesville shale from Bossier Shale.  The Bossier Shale lies directly above the Haynesville Shale but lies under the Cotton Valley sandstones, however; some geologists still consider the Haynesville Shale and the Bossier Shale one in the same. The

thickness of the Bossier Shale is approximately 1800 ft in the area of interest. The productive zone is located in the upper 500 to 600 ft of the shale. Bossier Shale is located in Eastern Texas and Northern Louisiana.    Core counties in Texas include Harrison County, TX, Panola County, TX and Shelby County, TX.  Non-Core counties in Texas include Gregg County, TX, Marion County, TX, Nacogdoches County, TX, Rusk County, TX and San Augustine, TX.  Counties in Northern Louisiana include Bossier County, LA, DeSoto County, LA, Red River County, LA, Webster County, LA and Caddo County, LA.  

According to Halliburton Company (HAL), the first Haynesville/Bossier Shale well was drilled in 2005 by EnCana Oil and Gas (ECA), however; it was not until early 2008 that operators realized that the Haynesville/Bossier Formation might be a key player in the natural gas industry.  

To better educated you on the bossier shale, I want to show you an exchange between analysts and the top team at cabot oil & gas (COG). 

David Heikkinen - Asking the Questions on the Conference Call
Basically just thinking about the Bossier versus the Haynesville and trying to frame up depositional environment and consistency in the Bossier shale as you move into your acreage, I know there isn't the Haynesville and County Line, but just trying to understand consistency and kind of properties? And then next on the Lime, normally it's too tight, so is there a cutoff as far as what you're seeing with the horizontal Lime well that you drilled, just trying to understand that too?
Dan Dinges - President & CEO giving the Answers
David, we have drilled numerous deep data points that are giving us Bossier/Haynesville shale information. We are seeing the Haynesville shale, you will extend overall of Cabot acreage. It is not as thick as we would see over in Louisiana. But the properties, the gas content, so on are the same. More importantly from our perspective is that we are seeing what we're calling the middle and upper Bossier as very thick, very gas charged. We are producing a well right now from the upper Bossier shale at nearly 3 million a day.
We talked about it earlier at Trawick at the last conference call that well is actually improving. We're confident that our horizontal Bossier shale which is in the middle Bossier interval is drilled in shale that is rich in silica and quartz and in carbonate, low in clay content. This shale should stimulate very effectively, probably better fract if the efficiency that you might see in the more play rich Haynesville shale.
And I think some of the anecdotal evidence that we've seen from some of the other operators suggests that this middle and upper Bossier which may not be getting the big press that we're seeing from Louisiana is going to be a significant contributor to the entire Bossier shale play in East Texas. So right now we're very optimistic on what we've seen so far both from rock properties in the Bossier and Haynesville shale as well as the production and test rates and gas contents that we've seen to-date.
David Heikkinen
So really, just trying to summarize you guys testing the Bossier and favoring it, it's really the economics of the Bossier because it's thicker and the Haynesville thinned out. It's not that you're not seeing Haynesville. It's just thinner so your economics are better in the Bossier on your acreage probably than they would be in the Haynesville?

Bossier Shale Map Texas, Louisiana
bossiershale.jpg

Dan Dinges
Well, we have seen some data that suggests now from vertical wells and I think that these are horizontal plays, we have seen some data from vertical wells from the big thick Haynesville shale, big thick 200 feet thick or more that the initial rates after frac are not all that big. I mean a million a half a day.
So you can say that where we're drilling, although it is thinner, the similar type of rates had been established by up in the Minden area with a well that was drilled by the former operator of the property that was bought. So we think that there's still a lot of upside left in the Haynesville even though it is thinner over in the Minden area.
David Heikkinen
Okay. So maybe I'm reading too much into your decision to test the Bossier and the Lime first. It sounds like you're going to test the Haynesville on your acreage as well as beyond just the vertical well?
Dan Dinges
Absolutely we are.
David Heikkinen
So can you give any thicknesses as far as what the Haynesville and Bossier are on your acreage as you move to the South?
Dan Dinges
We're seeing the Bossier and we don't break it out into the so-called Haynesville. I don't buy the terminology. It's all Bossier. It's between 750 and 1000 feet thick and it's all gas charged.

Chesapeake Energy CHK - Haynesville and Bossier Shales (Northwest Louisiana and East Texas): Chesapeake is the largest leasehold owner, largest producer and most active driller of new wells in the Haynesville Shale play in Northwest Louisiana and East Texas.  Chesapeake owns approximately 530,000 net acres of leasehold in the Haynesville Shale play, under which approximately 195,000 net acres is prospective for the Bossier Shale.  On its Haynesville and Bossier leasehold, Chesapeake estimates it has approximately 2.9 tcfe of proved reserves (based on the 10-year average NYMEX strip prices at June 30, 2010) and 23.7 tcfe of risked unproved resources.

The company has drilled and completed 252 gross Chesapeake-operated horizontal wells in the Haynesville and Bossier since discovering the play in 2007.  During the 2010 second quarter, Chesapeake’s average daily net production of 560 mmcfe in the Haynesville increased approximately 30% over the 2010 first quarter and approximately 315% over the 2009 second quarter.  The company’s average daily net production rate in the Haynesville in July 2010 was approximately 615 mmcfe.  The company is currently drilling with 35 operated rigs in the Haynesville and anticipates operating an average of approximately 36 rigs in 2010 to drill approximately 175 net wells.  The company anticipates having the vast majority of its Haynesville Shale leasehold held by production (HBP) by year-end 2011 and as such will have greater drilling flexibility in the years ahead.

Three notable recent wells completed by Chesapeake in the Haynesville are as follows:

  • The Sloan H-1 in DeSoto Parish, LA achieved a peak 24-hour rate of 22.2 mmcf per day;
  • The Brasch Family H-1 in DeSoto Parish, LA achieved a peak 24-hour rate of 22.0 mmcf per day; and
  • The Wren H-1 in DeSoto Parish, LA achieved a peak 24-hour rate of 21.6 mmcf per day.

Forest Oil  FST - East Texas, North Louisiana - Haynesville / Bossier Shale  - Forest drilled and completed three wells in the third quarter of 2010. In order to optimize recovery from Haynesville / Bossier Shale wells, Forest has adopted a restricted flow rate production program. With this operating strategy, initial production rates from the last three wells were curtailed at 11 to 13 MMcfe/d. Results have shown that cumulative production from the restricted-rate wells has exceeded the cumulative production from comparable unrestricted wells after approximately 90 days. Further, early indications support expectations that estimated ultimate recoveries for restricted-rate wells should exceed recoveries for less restricted wells.

The Company does not plan to operate any rigs in the play for the remainder of the year. All of Forest's leasehold in Red River Parish, Louisiana was converted to held by production status in the third quarter of 2010.

Exxon Mobile XOM - During the quarter, Exxon Mobil finalized a merger agreement with Ellora Energy. This acquisition has increased our position in the attractive Haynesville Bossier plays by 46,000 acres and added current production and pipeline capacity. In addition, our gas marketing team is working with XTO to optimize shipping, processing and marketing activities across our United States portfolio. We are also capturing reverse integration benefits in legacy Exxon Mobil operations both in the United States and overseas.

Petrohawk Energy HKLower Bossier Shale  - Petrohawk drilled one operated and 15 non-operated wells in the Lower Bossier Shale during 2010. The operated well, the Whitney 19 #1H in Sabine Parish, Louisiana, was completed in August 2010. The initial restricted production rate was approximately 8 Mmcfe/d on a 14/64" choke with flowing casing pressure of approximately 8,300 lbs. Of the 15 non-operated wells, five were drilled in North Louisiana and ten were drilled in East Texas. Well performance to date for this limited number of wells indicates that the four wells drilled in the area of the Whitney 19 #1H have been the best performers with EURs averaging 9 Bcfe.

In the entire Lower Bossier Shale play, the industry has completed approximately 50 Lower Bossier Shale wells. The Company estimates that a large area of commercially productive Lower Bossier Shale acreage exists across the southern portion of the Haynesville Shale trend of North Louisiana and East Texas. Petrohawk does not plan to commit significant capital to the Lower Bossier Shale until late 2012. At that time, given a favorable price environment for natural gas, the Company plans to launch directly into development of the Lower Bossier Shale, employing any cost saving measures that were successful in the Haynesville Shale, such as area-specific fracs and pad drilling. Petrohawk currently controls approximately 150,000 net acres in the Lower Bossier Shale that appears to be commercially productive based on regional well performance and geological data. Assuming 90 acre spacing and an average EUR of 6.5 Bcf/well, the Company's estimated net non-proved resource potential for the Lower Bossier Shale is 8.1 Tcf.

Encana ECA - Encana is drilling in the East Texas portion of the Bossier Shale - East Texas focus shifts to Bossier shale - In East Texas, 2010 natural gas production of 348 MMcfe/d was down slightly from forecast production of 355 MMcfe/d as volumes dropped off in the second half of the year. Recent test results from the Bossier sands have not met expectations and as a result Encana is reducing activity levels in this area, focusing more development on the Mid-Bossier shale and new potential opportunities in other parts of the play.

Exco Resources  XCO - Exco Resources (XCO) Bossier Shale - Our horizontal Haynesville shale development program continues to yield outstanding results. As of July 25, 2011, our Haynesville/Bossier operated production was 1,173 Mmcf per day gross (365 Mmcf per day net) and with the addition of our OBO wells, we had 391 Mmcf per day of net production. Our development program in DeSoto Parish, Louisiana is focused on manufacturing on 80-acre spacing. Our program in San Augustine and Nacogdoches Counties, Texas is focused on delineation and testing of our acreage. During 2011, we plan to drill 241 gross (70.1 net) wells in the Haynesville/Bossier shale play in East Texas/North Louisiana. Of these 241 wells, 171 gross wells are operated by EXCO.

We drilled and completed 47 gross (20.4 net) operated horizontal Haynesville and Bossier wells and participated in 20 gross (0.8 net) OBO Haynesville horizontal wells during the second quarter of 2011. We utilized 22 operated rigs and spud 42 operated horizontal wells. In addition to our operated rig count, we typically have 3-6 OBO rigs drilling in the play. During the quarter, 11 OBO wells were spud. We currently have 232 operated horizontal wells and 123 OBO horizontal wells flowing to sales.

The average initial production rate (“IP”) during the quarter from all of our operated Haynesville horizontal wells in DeSoto Parish was 18 Mmcf per day on a managed drawdown/restricted choke program. Our manufacturing approach for simultaneous drilling followed by simultaneous completions by unit is being successfully implemented. We currently have 15 units fully drilled, completed and flowing to sales on 80-acre spacing and expect to have 25 units fully developed by year end. This high level of sustained performance in our 80-acre development program underscores the quality and consistency of our shale assets. We have a strong focus on the capital efficiencies of our drilling and completion programs. The design changes and manufacturing efficiency gains in both the drilling phase and the completion phase of our wells should result in an overall well cost reduction of approximately 7% compared to our actual costs incurred in the first half of 2011. These improvements are the result of more efficient pad and road utilization and construction processes, design changes with drill bit technology resulting in higher rates of penetration and a more efficient completion design and implementation process, among others.

We acquired the assets in our Shelby area in May 2010. At the time of acquisition, the area total production rate was 34 Mmcf per day gross from eight operated wells. Our Shelby area is currently producing 222 Mmcf per day gross from a total of 39 operated wells. Results from our testing and delineation program in our Shelby area are encouraging. In the quarter we completed four wells in the deeper part of the play in Nacogdoches County, Texas with average IP rates of 29 Mmcf per day with average flowing pressures of 9,566 psi on 28/64ths chokes. The wells in this area are just over 19,400 feet measured depth with an average completed lateral length of 4,600 feet. These wells are performing above our original expectations. We drilled and completed our first horizontal Middle Bossier test well in San Augustine County during the first quarter 2011 with an IP rate of 26 Mmcf per day from a 16 stage fracture stimulation treatment. The Middle Bossier performance is also above our original expectations. We currently have two Middle Bossier test wells drilling and a total of eight operated rigs running in the Shelby area.

Southwestern Energy SWN - On June 30, 2010, Southwestern closed the previously announced sale of certain oil and gas leases, wells and gathering equipment held by the company in East Texas. Total net proceeds from the sale were $355.8 million. The sale included only the producing rights to the Haynesville and Middle Bossier Shale intervals in approximately 20,063 net acres. The company has retained the drilling and producing rights covering all other depths in the acreage, including the company's current James Lime and Pettet drilling programs.

Southwestern still has approximately 10,500 net acres with Haynesville and Middle Bossier Shale potential. The company drilled two wells on this acreage (Hawthorne prospect) in the second quarter, the Timberstar Blackstone A-1H well targeting the Haynesville Shale formation and the Harris B-1H well targeting the Middle Bossier Shale formation. The Blackstone well is currently being completed and the Harris well will be completed in the fourth quarter. A third well, the Crest C-1H, is currently drilling and will be completed in the fourth quarter.

Production from the company's East Texas properties was 19.2 Bcfe during the first six months of 2010, compared to 15.6 Bcfe during the same period last year. Approximately 2.1 Bcfe of company's 2010 production was related to its Haynesville and Middle Bossier properties which were sold in June. Southwestern participated in drilling 26 wells in East Texas during the first six months of 2010, 9 of which were James Lime horizontal wells, 13 of which were Haynesville horizontal wells and 4 of which were Pettet horizontal oil wells. Initial production rates from James Lime wells that were placed on production during the second quarter averaged 7.2 MMcfe per day and initial production rates from Pettet oil wells that were placed on production during the quarter averaged 505 barrels of oil per day, with 0.7 MMcf per day of associated gas.

Cabot Oil & Gas COG - Cabot is participating in 16 outside operated Haynesville/Bossier wells that are currently drilling, completing, or waiting on completion with working interests generally ranging from 10 to 20%. Results today in the play continue to show production at high initial rates with excellent recoverable reserves. This is true for both the Haynesville and Bossier formations, so we continue to be encouraged by the Bossier wells on and around our acreage.

Cabot has participated in four Bossier wells in this area. Two of the wells have been completed and have performed equal to or better than the Haynesville completions. The other two remaining wells are scheduled to be completed before year-end. This recent success reinforces our belief that our acreage is located in a core area for both zones. Though unpopular today, our capital allocated this play continues to capture a significant resource potential for the future.

Gastar GST - In East Texas, third quarter net production from the Hilltop area averaged 20.1 MMcfe per day, up from 13.6 MMcfe per day in the second quarter of 2010.  The increase in volumes was due to the return of the Belin #1 well to production, following successful operational repairs late in the second quarter, and bringing a new well, the Donelson #4, on production in late June.  Additionally, production during the third quarter was slightly higher than expected due to the Streater #1, a middle Bossier well, coming on production on September 20 versus early October as originally expected.  The well was completed in one zone and is currently producing approximately 7.6 MMcf per day.  Gastar has a 100% before payout working interest (76% before payout net revenue interest) in the Streater #1 well.

Comstock Resources (CRK) - In the East Texas/North Louisiana region, Comstock has drilled 15 wells (6.9 net) in the first quarter of 2011, all of which were Haynesville or Bossier shale wells. During 2011's first quarter, Comstock has completed 13 operated and 8 non-operated Haynesville or Bossier shale wells which have been put on production at an average per well initial production rate of 11.2 MMcfe per day.

GMX Resources (GMXR) - GMX Resources (GMXR) Haynesville Shale - Our second 2011 production exceeded our guidance and reached a Company record 6.5 BCFE. We drilled four and completed three successful long lateral (~6,500') Haynesville/Bossier horizontal wells during the second quarter. Production for the quarter was up 8% from the previous quarter and 51% from the second quarter of 2010. The production performance of our H/B long lateral program continued to exceed our expectations. In fact, the performance of our 2011 long lateral wells confirms the prior DeGolyer & MacNaughton EUR estimates of 6.5 Bcfe per well. Due to the continued depressed prices for natural gas and the absence of significant cost reduction for services, we have temporarily suspended our Haynesville/Bossier development until economics become competitive with our oil development. We have subleased our fourth H&P FlexRig and will focus all of our remaining 2011 drilling capital expenditure budget on oil development in the Bakken, Niobrara and other East Texas oil targets.

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