A federal agency estimates that the Haynesville and Bossier formations collectively contain more than quadruple the amount of natural gas thought to be in place in 2010 as well as 4 billion barrels (Bbbl) of conventional oil resources.
Collectively, the Bossier and Haynesville assessments outstrip estimates made earlier in the decade of the Marcellus and Utica shales, making it the largest continuous natural gas assessment the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) has ever conducted.
New evaluations of the Bossier and Haynesville, including onshore, state waters and a portion of the U.S. Gulf Coast, estimate mean natural gas of 304.4 trillion cubic feet (Tcf) and NGL of 1.9 Bbbl, according to updated USGS assessments. The assessments are predictions of estimated undiscovered, technically recoverable resources.
A 2010 assessment of the Bossier and Haynesville formations examined Jurassic and Cretaceous rocks of the Gulf Coast. At that time, the Bossier was estimated to contain a mean of 9 Tcf of natural gas and the Haynesville 61.4 Tcf.
“It’s amazing what a little more knowledge can yield,” said USGS scientist Stan Paxton, lead author of the assessment. “Since the 2010 assessment, we’ve gotten updated geologic maps, expanded production history and have a greater understanding of how these reservoirs evolved. All of that leads to a better geological model and therefore a more robust assessment.”
In 2011, the USGS estimated the Marcellus’ mean undiscovered natural gas resource of 84.2 Tcf and a mean undiscovered NGL resource of 3.4 Bbbl within the Appalachian Basin Province. In addition, a 2012 Utica assessment found it contained about a mean resource of 38 Tcf of undiscovered, technically recoverable natural gas.