|This article is part of the FrackSwarm coverage of fracking.|
The first Barnett Shale well was completed in 1981 in Wise County, Texas. Drilling expanded greatly in the past several years due to higher natural gas prices and use of horizontal wells to increase production. In contrast to older shale gas plays, such as the Antrim Shale, the New Albany Shale, and the Ohio Shale, the Barnett Shale completions are much deeper (up to 8,000 feet). The thickness of the Barnett varies from 100 to 1000 feet, but most economic wells are located where the shale is between 300 and 600 feet thick. The success of the Barnett has spurred exploration of other deep shales for more deposits.
In 2007, the Barnett shale (Newark East) gas field produced 1.11 cubic feet of gas, making it the second-largest source of natural gas in the United States. The Barnett shale currently produces more than 6% of US natural gas production.
- Robert T. Ryder, Fracture Patterns and Their Origin in the Upper Devonian Antrim Shale Gas Reservoir of the Michigan Basin: A Review, US Geological Survey, Open-File Report 96-23, 1996, accessed 3 November 2009.