USGS: Gulf Coast’s Bossier and Haynesville Formations Hold America’s Largest Continuous Natural Gas Resources
Thursday, April 13, 2017
According to two new assessments from the United States Geological Survey (USGS), the Bossier and Haynesville Formations that stretch across the Gulf Coast, from Florida through East Texas and South Texas, are estimated to hold 304.4 trillion cubic feet (Tcf) of natural gas. These estimates represent the “largest continuous natural gas assessment” ever conducted by the agency in the United States – a finding so large it prompted Secretary of the Interior Ryan Zinke to tweet, HUGE!
Previous USGS assessments of undiscovered, technically recoverable resources in the Haynesville and Bossier Formations estimated the formations to hold 61.4 Tcf and 9 Tcf of natural gas, respectively. These newest assessments more than triple the previous estimate for the Haynesville, now believed to hold almost 196 Tcf of natural gas; as well as mark an over 1200 percent increase of natural gas resources in the Bossier, now estimated to hold 108.6 Tcf of natural gas.
This news comes just six months after the USGS found that the Permian Basin in West Texas is estimated to hold 20 billion barrels of recoverable oil – the largest estimate of continuous oil ever assessed by the agency. Such staggering increases in undiscovered, technically recoverable resources within U.S. formations can be attributed to the technological advances made in resource development, which the agency says are a “game-changer”. According to Walter Guidroz, Program Coordinator of the USGS Energy Resources Program:
As the USGS revisits many of the oil and gas basins of the United States, we continually find that technological revolutions of the past few years have truly been a game-changer in the amount of resources that are now technically recoverable.”
“Changes in technology and industry practices, combined with an increased understanding of the regional geologic framework, can have a significant effect on what resources become technically recoverable.”
In addition to a wealth of natural gas, the USGS estimates the Brossier Formation to hold about 2.9 billion barrels of oil and a billion barrels of natural gas liquids; while the Haynesville is estimated to hold 1.1 billion barrels of oil and 0.9 billion barrels of natural gas liquids.
This latest finding shows the immense abundance of natural resources in the Lone Star State. Between West Texas’ historic oil resources and now the largest continuous natural gas resources in the United States, hydraulic fracturing and other technological advances in oil and gas development being used in Texas means greater energy security for our nation and more economic opportunity for our state.