The Barnett Shale in Texas was the first major unconventional shale formation to be successfully developed in the United States. Located in North-Central Texas, the Barnett Shale spans over 5,000 square miles and encompasses 25 counties in Texas. The formation is named after John W. Barnett, who settled in San Saba County in the late 19th century and named a local stream the Barnett Stream. In the early 20th century, geologists noticed black organic shale close to the stream and named it the Barnett Shale.

Increased production of natural gas has provided significant benefits to Texas and the country as a whole. Economic growth and job creation, higher government revenues, lower electricity prices, and enhanced national security are just a few of the benefits made possible by development of the Barnett Shale and subsequently the many other shale formations across the country.