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Smackover Brown Dense Formation - Arkansas - Louisiana

What is the Smackover Brown Dense Formation?  The Smackover Brown Dense Formation is an oil & gas field located in Southern Arkansas and Northern Louisiana.  The Smackover Brown Dense Shale is the newest emerging shale play in the USA as exploration & production companies search for Oil.  The Smackover Formation can be found to the north of the Haynesville Shale.  In the middle of the Smackover shale formation, you have the thick brown dense formation that has the potential to hold a vast amount of oil.  Then, below the Brown Dense trend, you have the Lower Smackover Shale. 

Geologists have known about the Smackover Brown Dense formation for awhile.  Due to oil production from shale formations such as the Bakken Shale, Eagle Ford Shale, Niobrara Shale, Barnett Shale, Tuscaloosa Marine ShalePermian Basin, and the Woodford Shale, several companies have decided to move drilling rigs to the Smackover Brown Dense Field in hopes to strike it big.  Right now, Southwestern Energy (SWN) is one of the biggest players in the field with more than 480,000 acres of mineral right leases.  The company is making a huge bet on striking black gold!

Depth - 8,500-13,500 ft deep
Thickness - Between 325-545 ft thick

States Involved - Louisiana, Arkansas, possibly even Texas

Well Cost - About $8 Million

A quote from the Southwestern Energy (SWN) CEO - Our investment in undeveloped acreage in the play area to date is approximately $150 million or $326 per acre, and our leases currently have an 82% average net revenue interest.  We will begin by targeting the higher gravity oil window under our lease, which we believe could be 40% to 55% API range. This formation is below the Haynesville and Smackover and is an upper Jurassic-aged, kerogen-rich, carbonate source rock, which covers an area from Texas to Florida.  We extensively reviewed the Brown Dense across the entire region and have indications that the right mix of reservoir depth, thickness, porosity, matrix permeability, sealing formations, thermal maturity and oil characteristics are found in the area of Southern Arkansas and Northern Louisiana. 

Estimated matrix for permeability based on various methods of measurement ranges from less than 0.1 millidarcy to more than 1 millidarcy. Both porosity and matric permeability are comparable to metrics reported in the Eagle Ford play in South Texas.

We have assembled a log data on 1,145 wells covered in 5 states to evaluate the Brown Dense, have acquired over 6,000 miles of 2-D seismic and have gathered and analyzed rock data from cores and cuttings from 70 wells that penetrated the Brown Dense zone. At this point, we currently have more data about the Brown Dense than we had on the Fayetteville Shale when it was announced.

We hope to receive a permit to drill our first well in Columbia County, Arkansas in August. And will spud later in the third quarter. This well is planned to drill to a vertical depth of approximately 8,900 feet and has a planned horizontal lateral length of 3,500 feet. This well will be extensively logged and a full course of plan over the entire Brown Dense interval before the well is completed. The completed well cost of this first well is approximately $10 million, which will have more than $2 million of science work.

Our second well is planned to spud later this year, with a total vertical depth of approximately 10,700 feet and a 6,000-foot horizontal lateral in Claiborne Parish, Louisiana. We plan to drill up to 10 wells in 2012, as we continue to test this concept. This formation serves several large conventional oil and gas fields, and our hope is to use horizontal drilling technology to unlock at least as much potential. Positive test results could significantly increase our activity in this play over the next several years.

More to come in 2012.....


Arkansas (AR) - Ashley County, AR - Bradley County, AR - Calhoun County, AR - Clark County, AR - Columbia County, AR - Hempstead County, AR - Howard County, AR - Lafayette County, AR - Little River County, AR - Miller County, AR - Nevada County, AR - Ouachita County, AR - Sevier County, AR - Union County, AR

Louisiana (LA) - Bossier Parish, LA - Caddo Parish, LA - Claiborne Parish, LA - Lincoln Parish, LA - Morehouse County, LA - Ouachita Parish, LA - Richland County, LA - Union Parish, LA - Webster County, LA

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