Jane Van Ryan
Posted April 29, 2010
For many years, this brittle shale formation stretching from Mexico across southern Texas has been known to contain large amounts of oil and natural gas, but wells have not been able to produce commercial quantities of energy through conventional vertical drilling.
Recently, drillers have begun applying horizontal drilling and hydraulic fracturing to the formation and are producing significant amounts of oil, natural gas and high-quality natural gas liquids.
According to the Eagle Ford Shale Blog, the CEO of EOG Resources says the Eagle Ford shale may be one of the biggest U.S. oil discoveries in more than 40 years.
Likewise, a formation called the Granite Wash, which extends from the Texas panhandle into Oklahoma, also is attracting the attention of drillers. According to a recent Oil & Gas Investor article, the formation is about 40 percent oil and the rest is high-Btu natural gas. Here again, the secret to unlocking the energy potential of the formation is the combination of horizontal drilling and hydraulic fracturing.
Brian Westenhaus of the New Energy and Fuel blog describes the potential significance of these formations in a recent blog post. About the Eagle Ford formation, he writes:
"The mainstream media has not yet reported the full implications of this massive oil and gas field, but it will be major news very soon."
For more information on horizontal drilling and hydraulic fracturing, listen to the audio and read the transcript from a recent conference call.
(Image Source: Eagle Ford Shale Blog)
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Jane Van Ryan was formerly senior communications manager and new media advisor at the American Petroleum Institute (API), where she wrote blog posts and produced podcasts and videos. Before coming to API, Jane managed communications for a large science and engineering corporation, and for a top-tier research and engineering university. A few years ago, you might have seen her in your living room when she delivered the news on television. Jane officially retired from API in 2011 and now freelances as an independent communications consultant when not gardening at her farm in Virginia.