Our area is located in the center of Arkansas’s Fayetteville Shale formation. Since 2006 Searcy and surrounding areas have seen a huge impact from the exploration boom that has hit our region. The following information will help explain what Fayetteville Shale is, the impact it is having on our area and will give you sources where you can obtain more information.
What is Fayetteville Shale?
The Fayetteville Shale, is a black, organic-rich rock of Mississippian age that underlies much of northern and north central Arkansas and adjacent states. It produces natural gas in the central portion of the Arkoma basin. The productive wells penetrate the Fayetteville Shale at depths between a few hundred and 7000 feet below the surface and at elevations of between a few hundred feet above sea level and 7000 feet below sea level.
The first wells to produce natural gas from the Fayetteville Shale were traditional vertical wells with low to moderate production rates. However, in the past several years vertical wells have been drilled down to just above the Fayetteville Shale, turned, and drilled horizontally through the rock unit. These horizontal wells intersect large numbers of vertical fractures which bring a flow of gas into the well and drain the surrounding rock. Fractures are also induced by pumping pressurized fluids down the well bore to fracture the rock unit. These additional fractures enhance the permeability of the Fayetteville Shale and allow more efficient gas production.
A study was recently commissioned to ascertain the true impact of the Fayetteville Shale in our area. The study was performed by the Center for Business and Economic Research at the University of Arkansas and was released on October 22, 2008. The study indicated that the natural gas production in the Fayetteville Shale over the last three years has generated increases in tax revenue, employment and wages for White County. Click here to view the complete study.
Sources for more information
News Headlines (older)
Fayetteville Shale Bucking National trends
BEEBE - Arkansas State University-Beebe recently received a $280,000 grant to continue the Floorhand Training Program. $500 million dollar pipeline in the works
Firm expects to employ 1,300 at project peak BJ Services brings jobs Chesapeake opens regional headquarters