Jeffrey D Hall, 2004. "The Barnett Shale: An Unconventional Gas Play in the Fort Worth Basin – Now the Largest Gas Field in the State of Texas", Depositional Processes and Reservoir Characteristics of Siltstones, Mudstones and Shales, Erik D. Scott, Arnold H. Bouma
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The Newark East Barnett Shale Field located within the Fort Worth Basin of North Texas has now developed into the largest gas field within the state of Texas. The productive formation is the Mississippian Barnett, an organic rich, very dense, black shale with 3-5% porosity, less than .001 md permeability and greater than 140 BCF per square mile of gas in place. Newark East Field has produced in excess of 800 BCF of natural gas, over 220 BCF in 2002 alone, and is currently producing greater than 800 MMCF per day from over 2,350 wells. There are over 60 companies participating in the play with 55 rigs actively targeting the Barnett.
The Newark East Field core area is now approaching full development on 40 acre spacing. The current field limits are being tested by wells targeting the Barnett Shale to the east and northeast into the deepest portion of the basin adjacent to the Muenster Arch, to the north toward the oil window and to the south into the Fort Worth metropolitan area. The greatest challenge facing the Barnett play expansion lies to the west and southwest into western Wise, Parker and Johnson Counties where the underlying Ordovician tight limestone frac barriers, which are viewed as key to successful wells, are absent. Several wildcat wells have tested the Barnett to the south and west utilizing both vertical and horizontal technology with varied results.
Clearly the conventional technology developed within the core area will not be applicable to all of the expansion and exploration areas. A greater understanding of the Barnett Shale as a reservoir, as well as increased study of the frac barriers below, above and within the Barnett Shale are now necessary. Armed with this knowledge, the drilling and completion technology can be developed to allow for the successful expansion of the play.
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Siltstones, mudstones and shales have been studied mainly with regard to general transportdeposition processes and clay mineralogy. A small group of investigators, with differing backgrounds, have worked on these fine-grained deposits. Recent studies on deepwater deposits from cores and outcrops indicate that the presence of finer-grained deposits greatly affect the fluid flow properties of deepwater reservoirs. Characteristics and rock properties of these deposits, which resulted from a variety of depositional processes, are just beginning to be understood.