Natural gas production in the Haynesville Shale is booming, creating a modern day 'gold rush' atmosphere in northern Louisiana.
While you may not make millions, rising gas prices and improved technology have created thousands of high paying jobs in this extraordinary gas 'play.'
Haynesville is a new hotspot for gas and oil companies in East Texas and Louisiana.
The Haynesville Shale is a rock formation over 150 million years old that lies more than two miles below the earth's surface across large areas of southwestern Arkansas, northwest Louisiana, and East Texas. The play was named after the town of Haynesville, Claiborne Parish, Louisiana and is immense in size, taking up about 900 square miles and averaging between 200 and 300 feet thick.
It is estimated that the Haynesville Shale may contain over 200 trillion cubic feet of recoverable natural "shale" gas, making it the largest gas field in the contiguous 48 states.
Extracting natural gas from the Haynesville Shale requires drilling wells from 10,000 to 13,000 feet deep, with the deepest areas occurring near the Gulf of Mexico. Horizontal drilling methods must be used, and it is an expensive venture, as wells cost an average of $9 million each - a chunk of money to most people, but the gas companies consider production costs at the Haynesville Shale to be low cost in relation to the size of the resource in place.
Shale typically has a low level of permeability, which measures the rock's ability to allow liquid or gas to pass through it, and also a low porosity. Generally, the higher the porosity, the higher the amount of oil or gas the pores of the rock may contain. The Haynesville Shale has a higher porosity than other shale, accounting for the enormous amount of natural gas contained there and the corresponding high level of interest in the play among companies such as Goodrich Petroleum, Chesapeake, Petrohawk Energy, and many others.
The Haynesville Shale is a formation that was once considered too expensive to explore, but energy exploration companies are now actively leasing property in northern Louisiana in preparation for drilling and natural gas production and landowners are getting unprecedented amount for leases.
The most active areas have been the Bienville, Bossier, Caddo, DeSoto, Webster, and Red River Parishes of Louisiana in addition to neighboring areas in southwest Arkansas and east Texas. All this activity is creating a very positive employment outlook throughout the play. Some of the hottest jobs in the Haynesville Shale include:
And that's just a starter list! Whether you have oil and gas experience or not, check out the huge potential that the Haynesville Shale may have in store for you.