New Haynesville, Bossier Shales assessment causes officials to pledge help in mining


A recently updated U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) assessment of the Haynesville and Bossier Shales has officials pledging to help create jobs through mining of the resources.

The Bossier and Haynesville Formations of the U.S. Gulf Coast contain an estimated mean of 4 billion barrels of oil, 304.4 trillion cubic feet of natural gas and 1.9 billion barrels of natural gas liquids, according to the USGS. These estimates are the largest continuous natural gas assessments USGS has ever conducted.

While both formations extend from the Mexico border in Texas to the Florida panhandle, the “sweet spot” is located directly within northwest Louisiana.

The news prompted government officials to pledge a commitment to utilizing the shales and spur mining and recovery of these natural resources.

“The shale gas renaissance has had a remarkable impact on Louisiana industry, and this new development has exciting implications for potential job growth and economic proliferation in northwest Louisiana,” said US Congressman Mike Johnson, LA 4th Congressional District. “Through my role on the Natural Resources Committee, I will work to ensure that unnecessary and duplicative regulations do not hamper the industry’s ability to invest or utilize these two shale formations.”

The Bossier and Haynesville Formations have long been known to contain oil and gas, but it was not until 2008 that production of the continuous resources really got underway in east Texas and north Louisiana (the primary production areas for the two formations).

In 2010, the USGS assessed the Bossier and Haynesville Formations and estimated a combined mean of 70.4 trillion cubic feet of natural gas.

Since the 2010 assessment, the USGS has updated their geological maps and gained a better understanding of the geological framework in the region. Along with changes in technology and industry practices, this increased understanding led them to conduct their most recent and robust assessment of these two formations, discovering an enormous amount of recoverable resources.

“It is amazing what technology and new data can produce. This discovery is welcome news not only for the people of the Fourth Congressional District, but for Louisiana and the Gulf region as a whole,” Johnson continued.

Undiscovered resources are those that are estimated to exist based on geologic knowledge and statistical analysis of known resources, while technically recoverable resources are those that can be produced using currently available technology and industry practices. The USGS assessments of the Bossier and Haynesville Formations were undertaken as part of a nationwide project assessing domestic petroleum basins using standardized methodology and protocol.

More information on the new assessments of the Bossier and Haynesville Formations may be found here.