Chesapeake Shale Production at Record Level

Chesapeake Energy said production from its four shale plays has hit record levels, including production that recently topped 1 billion cubic feet of gas per day in the Barnett shale in north-central Texas, according to press reports.
Shale is a kind of layered, sedimentary rock that exists in formations throughout the world. The gas, tightly locked in rock formations, had been extraordinarily expensive to extract until the past few years when producers developed new techniques such as horizontal drilling, where the drill is turned in a right angle to bore into a gas reservoir horizontally.
Discoveries of gas in shale formations has led to giant growth in reserves in the U.S. Producers say there is enough gas to meet demand in the U.S. for more than a century, and that more reliance on gas could cut dependence on foreign oil and reduce greenhouse gas emissions.
The Oklahoma City-based natural gas company said production in the Barnett shale comes from 1,500 wells. Chesapeake made its first investment there in 2004.
Chesapeake also said production in the Haynesville shale in eastern Texas and northeastern Louisiana recently exceeded 500 million cubic feet per day and that production in the Fayetteville shale in Arkansas recently topped 400 million cubic feet. Production in the Marcellus shale in northern Appalachia recently reached 100 million cubic feet.
Plains Exploration and Production Co. is a 20 percent partner with Chesapeake in the Haynesville shale while BP America is a 25 percent partner in the Fayetteville shale and Norwegian oil company StatoilHydro is a 32.5 percent partner in the Marcellus shale.



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