Friday, October 5, 2018

Austin Chalk & LAMS Stack Plays

The Austin Chalk formation has produced over 2.4 billion barrels equivalent across the Gulf Coast in Texas and Louisiana.  The bulk of the production to date has come from Texas.  Giddings Field at 1.38 billion barrels equivalent is the "giant" of the play. 

Almost all of the production in Texas occurs north and updip of the Fredericksburg Shelf Edge (Edwards). In Louisiana, the largest field to date, Masters Creek, producings predominantly south of the shelf edge.  Historically, this fact might have misled explorers to overlook the updip potential in Louisiana on trend with Giddings Field in Texas.

In the eastern part of the Louisiana Austin Chalk Play, the Tuscaloosa Marine Shale (TMS) occurs below the Austin Chalk providing a "stacked" target opportunity.  This same stack occurs in South Texas with the Austin Chalk and Eagle Ford Shale (same geological age as the TMS).  Stack plays present a better risk profile or "odds" for success.  I've named the stack in the eastern portion of Louisiana as "The Louisiana-Mississippi Stack Play" (LAMS).  

Over four years of improvement in hydraulic fracturing (frac) design presents a very interesting opportunity to revisit the TMS target.  With 83 completions, the TMS is a proven oil/gas resource with established production profiles.  Improved frac design along with lower drilling and completion costs could re-ignite this play in parallel with the exploration of the Austin Chalk above it.