Haynesville Shale in Texas
Oil & Gas Attorney Serving Texas & Gulf Coast States
The Haynesville Shale is a natural gas-rich geological formation in northwestern Louisiana, southwestern Arkansas, and eastern Texas. The most productive regions include Caddo, Bienville, Bossier, DeSoto, Red River, and Webster parishes in Louisiana and adjacent areas in southwest Arkansas and east Texas. The Haynesville Shale was originally deposited when shallow seas covered much of Texas and Louisiana. Rich organic silts were deposited and, over millions of years, were covered and encapsulated in layers of impermeable rock overburden. Over thousands of years under pressure and heat, the carbon-rich deposits produced reservoirs of oil and gas.
The Haynesville Shale discovery has been described as a modern-day gold rush. Some sources have estimated it may be the fourth largest natural gas reserve in the world.
Still early in its development, its actual value may not be known for years to come. Some experts describe it as one of the most abundant natural gas reserves ever discovered in the region. However, most experts agree that it is too early to tell what its productive output will be. The Haynesville Shale is a "tight" formation meaning that the rock is not very porous and so gas is not easily extracted from it. Until recently, the tight shale formation was not considered viable for production of natural gas in commercially viable volumes.
New Drilling Techniques for the Haynesville Shale
Vertical wells that drill straight into the ground have been the mainstay of the industry for decades. However, the recent developments of hydraulic fracturing and horizontal drilling techniques have made the production of natural gas more viable. Hydraulic fracturing employs high-pressure water pumped down into the well to fracture the rock and release gas. Horizontal drilling methods expose more of the shale and natural or induced fractures to the borehole, thereby allowing the well to produce more natural gas. Drilling likely will shift from the long common vertical wells to more expensive horizontal wells that are costlier to produce but more productive in "tight" formations.
Potential Negative Impacts on the Community
As landmen representing oil and gas operators overwhelm county courthouses in the region, and landowners sign oil and gas leases then wait for royalties to start pouring in, some are concerned about the potential for negative impacts to the environment, their property values, and the community as a whole. Some are already predicting that land values in the city could fall and that homeowners should expect reductions in the value of their homes for drilling activity that may be, quite literally, in their backyards. Truck and heavy equipment traffic have already increased dramatically in some communities, and noise levels from the rigs are a nuisance to some that are barely tolerable.
There is also the possibility of environmental damage from oil and gas drilling operations.
For example, it can take millions of gallons of water to drill and finish a well using hydraulic fracturing techniques. Worse, the byproduct, often full of salt, hydrocarbons, and fracturing fluids has to be disposed of somewhere. The most popular method in use is, unfortunately, another well called an "injection well" into which the saltwater is injected for disposal. The process can lead to unintended consequences including surface and water contamination. Already, one Texas community has had to fight for clean drinking water after a saltwater injection well poisoned the water supply.
Haynesville Shale Lawsuit FAQ
Do I need an attorney to help me negotiate my oil and gas lease?
If you’ve been approached by landsmen about an oil and gas lease for the land you own in the Haynesville Shale, you may wonder whether you need legal counsel. Unless you’re a professional in the field, these landmen probably know far more about the nuances of oil and gas law and mineral rights than you do. They are not there to protect your interests. They represent the interests of their employers: oil and gas companies. You need a skilled professional to protect your interests, and that’s the service we provide at Arnold & Itkin. At any point in the oil and gas lease process—even if you’ve already experienced violations of your rights or significant losses—we can help.
Can I renegotiate oil and gas royalties?
If you’re currently in a lease that’s paying low royalties, it may be possible to find an opening that would allow for the termination of your lease or the renegotiation of its terms. Oil and gas royalty rates in the Haynesville Shale vary depending on the market and other factors. Our lawyers can talk to you about your current situation, review your lease, and determine if there’s a way to seek higher royalties. We can help with any type of oil and gas dispute in the Haynesville Shale.
Representing Workers Injured in the Haynesville Shale
Oil and gas workers are among the most at-risk workers in the entire United States. Oilfield work has a tendency to be a high-stakes game: it can make people a great deal of money...or it can leave them physically and financially ruined. We've seen far too many people who were left in debt and without a future because their employer was careless about their safety, resulting in land rig explosions, equipment malfunctions, or gas truck accidents.
When people need a way to get their lives back to normal, when they need to rebuild their lives, they call Arnold & Itkin.
Our firm helps oilfield workers who have been injured in the Haynesville Shale get the money they need to pay off debt, pay for medical treatment, and replace the paychecks they've lost as a result of their accident. All you need to do is pick up the phone (or send us a short message in the form below).
Experienced Oil & Gas Lawyer in Houston
If you own mineral interests in the Haynesville Shale region, you may already have been approached by landmen wanting to negotiate oil and gas leases with you. You owe it to yourself to be fully informed of the many issues that should be addressed to maximize your potential revenues, and to protect your property and interests. Call our Houston litigation attorney to understand your rights and to get a legal advocate on your side.
Contact a Houston oil and gas lawyer to learn more about your options. Call Arnold & Itkin at (888) 493-1629.