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.


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

Other Unconventional

Other Unconventional Description ImageIn addition to the well-known gas shale plays like the Barnett, Haynesville, Marcellus, and Eagle Ford, and oil plays like the Bakken, there are perhaps dozens of smaller, less well-known resource plays, many of which are in the very early stages of exploration and development. Some of the plays are shale and others are tight gas or coalbed methane. Many are in the United States and Canada, but increasingly exploration and production companies are using modern drilling and production technology to develop natural gas and oil from unconventional subsurface formations in Europe and Asia. Doubtless, unconventional resources eventually will be exploited in Africa, South America, and Australia as well. What we call “unconventional” today will be considered “conventional” in time.

Other Unconventional News

Global update on shale development

Sep 18, 2013

Advances in the US, China, and Argentina evolve the shape of global shale markets

UK aims to kick-start British shale revolution

Aug 5, 2013

What a difference a year makes. In the summer of 2012 shale gas exploration in the United Kingdom was subject to a moratorium following earth tremors allegedly linked to drilling in Lancashire, North-West England.

Mr. Sandman – Getting proppant to the wellhead

Aug 5, 2013

Mining, processing and delivering over 30 million metric tonnes (MT) of frac sand proppant to US oil and gas shale drilling sites is a serious business. Speedier drilling, increased lateral length and more fraccing stages are driving demand for the critical proppant that holds open fractures to let hydrocarbons flow to the well. Large companies with efficient distribution logistics and agreements with the railroads dominate the business – helping to bring down completion costs per well. Today we take a closer look at the frac sand business.

Sasol signs MOU with for high density polyethylene JV

Jul 24, 2013

South African-based energy and chemical company, Sasol and INEOS Olefins & Polymers USA (INEOS) has signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with the intent to form a joint venture to manufacture high density polyethylene (HDPE).

Will emissions costs choke petchem expansions?

Jun 20, 2013

Emission regulations require that companies planning new olefin crackers in EPA designated nonattainment areas like Houston must buy emission credits prior to construction. The market for credits in Houston for one criteria pollutant – volatile organic compounds (VOCs) skyrocketed from $4.5K/ton in 2011 to $300K/ton this month. The scarcity of emission credits and their rising price threaten to constrain or delay new petrochemical plant builds and will continue to hamper plant development and expansions in the Gulf Coast region. Today we describe the challenge new projects face.


With Tom Ward departure, SandRidge focuses on Mississippian assets

Jun 20, 2013

After nearly a year of scrutiny focused on SandRidge Energy Inc. (NYSE: SD) founder and now-former CEO Tom Ward, the Oklahoma City-based oil and natural gas company is transitioning its leadership team.

Harvey Gulf building first LNG bunkering facilities in America

Jun 10, 2013

Harvey Gulf International Marine has secured plans to construct and operate the first LNG marine fueling facility in the United States, to be located at its vessel facility in Port Fourchon, Louisiana.

Port Arthur steam cracker in Texas now processing ethane from shale gas

May 23, 2013

To capitalize on the shale gas revolution in the United States, the BASF TOTAL Petrochemicals LLC (BTP) joint venture (40% Total, 60% BASF) revamped the Port Arthur steam cracker in Texas to process ethane, found in abundance in US shale gas.

Unimin opens proppant distribution center to serve Permian Basin, Cline shale

May 14, 2013

Unimin Corp. has opened its newest proppant distribution terminal in Lubbock, TX to serve hydraulic fracturing operations in the North Permian basin and northern sections of the Cline shale.


North American liquids production will reach 8 million bbl/d by 2020

May 1, 2013

Liquids production (oil, condensate, and natural gas liquids) from North American shale formations (includes tight oil plays) will most likely reach 8 million barrels per day by 2020, assuming current activity levels will remain constant and only minor changes will occur to the latest reported performance of wells and fleets.

Green energy advocates should run towards natural gas

May 1, 2013

Environmentalists have made it no secret that they aren't happy with the dramatic rise of the natural gas industry, but given the current economic climate and global market demand, there's no other form of energy they should be more excited about.

Evolving market dynamics of global LNG

May 1, 2013

The modern global LNG industry is approaching its 50th birthday in 2014. A massive amount of new LNG capacity has been proposed — as much as 350 million (metric) tonnes per year (mtpa) — which, if all were built, would more than double current capacity (of less than 300 mtpa) by 2025.

Bringing oil and gas reserves to book

May 1, 2013

Ahead of the annual SPE London Conference, Alejandro Primera, senior reservoir engineer and continuing education chair for SPE London examines the uncertainties surrounding sub-surface characterization and how it impacts on an oil and gas firm's future performance.

US natural gas prices reach two-year high

Apr 23, 2013

Cutbacks in US natural gas drilling and production and higher North American demand combined to decrease storage levels and raise prices above $4/mmbtu in the first quarter of 2013, according to Ernst & Young Oil & Gas Center’s quarterly analysis.

Plains All American to build pipeline for Permian crude oil takeaway

Apr 16, 2013

Plains All American Pipeline LP (NYSE: PAA) is constructing the Cactus Pipeline, a new 310-mile, 20-inch crude oil pipeline from McCamey to Gardendale, Texas.

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