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  • Unconventional Oil & Gas

    Shale plays first come to mind when one considers unconventional resources. These unconventional resource plays may yield natural gas, gas condensates, and crude oil. Some of the more noteworthy shale plays in North America include the Bakken, Eagle Ford, Marcellus, Fayetteville, Woodford, Niobrara, Haynesville, Horn River, and Utica formations. Tight gas, coalbed methane, oil sands, and heavy oil are non-shale unconventional resources.

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    Eagle Ford | Marcellus | Cline | Permian | Utica | Bakken | Woodbine & Eaglebine

    Barnett Shale

    Barnett Shale Description Image

    The Barnett shale in north-central Texas lies in the Fort Worth Basin. Discovered in the 1950s, the Barnett was not commercially viable until the 1980s. Some geologists believe the formation could hold 30 trillion cubic feet of natural gas. A significant part of the drilling has occurred in the Fort Worth metro area, and Chesapeake Energy actually secured rights to drill beneath the Dallas-Fort Worth International Airport.

    Drilling in the Barnett shale intensified in the past decade as modern horizontal drilling and hydraulic fracturing techniques were perfected for drilling in shale. Devon Energy, Chesapeake Energy, XTO Energy, and EOG Resources are among the larger players in the Barnett shale. Two years ago, 70% of all US gas shale production came from the Barnett, but that percentage of the total has been declining as production has risen in other plays.

    Barnett Shale Map

    Barnett Shale News

    West to retire from Pioneer Energy Services

    Dec 16, 2014

    Pioneer Energy Services reports that Franklin "Red" C. West, executive vice president and president of the company’s Drilling Services segment, will retire, effective Jan. 1, 2015.

    Mexco Energy purchases oil and gas properties

    Nov 28, 2014

    Mexco Energy Corp. reports the purchase of various royalty interests ranging from .0018% to 1.1% revenue interests at a price of $580,000 covering  580 wells in 87 counties of eight US states.

    Pioneer closes sale of Barnett shale assets

    Sep 26, 2014

    Pioneer Natural Resources Co. has closed the sale of its Barnett shale assets in North Texas to an undisclosed private party for cash proceeds of $155 million. The transaction has an effective date of Aug. 1.

    Vantage postpones IPO

    Sep 25, 2014

    Vantage Energy Inc., which focuses on the Marcellus and Barnett shale plays, has postponed its previously announced initial public offering.

    Basic acquires Pioneer Fishing and Rental

    Sep 19, 2014

    Basic Energy Services Inc. has completed the acquisition of substantially all of the assets of Pioneer Fishing and Rental (PFR), a division of Pioneer Energy Services, for a total cash consideration of $16 million.

    PXD sells Hugoton, Barnett assets for $495M

    Aug 5, 2014

    Working to redeploy capital to its oily Sprayberry and Wolfcamp assets in the Permian Basin, Dallas-based Pioneer Natural Resources Co. has agreed to sell all of its assets in the Hugoton field and the Barnett Shale for total cash proceeds of $495 million.

    Denton city council rejects partial ban on hydraulic fracturing

    Jul 17, 2014

    Denton, Texas, city council members have rejected a bid that would have made it the first city in the state to ban further permitting of hydraulic fracturing in the community, according to a report from the Associated Press.

    Baker Hughes gives second-quarter well count

    Jul 14, 2014

    Baker Hughes Inc. reports that the US onshore well count for the second quarter of 2014 was 9,394 wells, up 428 wells or 5% compared to the first quarter of the year. Compared to the second quarter of 2013, the well count was up 383 wells or 4%.

    KKR and Riverstone Holdings to form Trinity River Energy

    Jul 10, 2014

    KKR and Riverstone Holdings LLC report the signing of a definitive agreement to merge the existing assets held by KKR Natural Resources Funds with the assets of Legend Production Holdings LLC to create Trinity River Energy LLC.

    Vantage Energy files for $400M IPO

    Jul 8, 2014

    Vantage Energy Inc., a privately-held oil and gas company, plans to raise approximately $400 million in an IPO. 

    Addax Minerals to sell mineral, royalty interests in Barnett shale

    Jul 1, 2014

    Addax Minerals has retained E-Spectrum Advisors LLC, an affiliate of Energy Spectrum Advisors Inc., to sell certain producing mineral and royalty interests in core areas of the Barnett shale play.

    Patterson-UTI Energy to acquire pressure pumping operations

    Jun 10, 2014

    Patterson-UTI Energy Inc. reports that one of its subsidiaries has entered into an agreement to acquire the East Texas-based pressure pumping operations of a privately held company. 

    Approach Resources names Harris as vice president–land

    May 13, 2014

    Approach Resources Inc. reports that John L. Harris has been named to the position of vice president–land. He assumes the role following the retirement of Ralph P. Manoushagian, who has served as executive vice president–land since 2008.

    ARP acquires assets in West Virginia and Virginia

    May 13, 2014

    Atlas Resource Partners LP has completed its acquisition of long-lived, shallow-decline natural gas production in West Virginia and Virginia from GeoMet Inc. for $107 million.

    Margo joins Navigator as senior VP of engineering and operations

    Apr 4, 2014

    Navigator Energy Services LLC has appointed Randy Margo as senior vice president of engineering and operations. Margo will lead the construction and operation of Navigator’s Big Spring Gateway System, a crude oil gathering system.

    ConocoPhillips CEO on shale boom: We've only scratched the surface

    Technology innovation has expanded the world’s energy resource base and the oil and gas industry will continue to working to supply that growth, said ConocoPhillips (NYSE:COP) chairman and CEO Ryan Lance.

    ©2014 Michael Stravato. Provided courtesy of the James A. Baker III Institute for Public Policy, Rice University.

    Read the full article here. 


    US tight oil production averaged 3.22 day MMbbl/d in 4Q13, according to US EIA estimates. This level was enough to push overall crude oil production in the US to an average of 7.84 MMbbl/d, more than 10% of total world production, up from 9% in the fourth quarter of 2012. Read more here

    Can the shale gas rBart Willigers, Palantir Solutions Ltd. evolution currently taking place in the US be repeated elsewhere? Although significant volumes of unconventional gas deposits are present in Poland, France, Germany, Hungary, Sweden, Turkey, and the UK, shale gas developments are running many years behind their counterparts in the US. Skeptics have pointed out that differences in geology, taxes, public acceptance, environmental regulations and other factors in Europe vs. the US make for a tougher environment in which to develop unconventional resources. 

    Read the article by Bart J. A. Willigers of Palantir Solutions Ltd. here

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