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 Barnett, Haynesville, Marcellus, Eagle Ford, Fayetteville, Woodford, Bakken, Niobrara, 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

Mississippi Lime

Technology typically used for drilling and completing wells in shale formations has created a resurgence of interest in a non-shale play, the Mississippi Lime in northern Oklahoma and southern Kansas. Operators have been sinking the drillbit into the Mississippian play for decades, but the vertical wells produced less-than-exciting results.

The Mississippi "Chat" is located atop the Mississippi Lime and is considered a very good hydrocarbon reservoir. Chat reservoirs are widespread and vary in thickness from a few feet to 80-feet thick. The Chat is comprised of chert, limestone, and dolomite with porosities varying from 3% to 35%.

The Mississippi Lime underlies the Chat and this zone is also very productive for hydrocarbons. Porosities range from 5% to 15% with water saturations ranging from 25% to 60%. Net porosity thickness greater than 5% range from 10 to 100 feet, with an average of 30 to 50 feet. The Mississippian rocks below the Chat are tighter and less porous.

Among the companies operating in the Mississippi Lime are: Chesapeake Energy, SandRidge Energy, Devon Energy, Apache Corp., ExxonMobil, Range Resources, PetroQuest Energy, Eagle Energy, Pablo Energy, AusTex Oil Ltd., Magnolia Petroleum, and Petrodyne Petroleum.

Mississippi Lime

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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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