Light On The Haynesville Horizon?

As gas plays go, the Haynesville has long played second fiddle to the Marcellus; the latter has historically yielded larger wells and contributed more to U.S. gas supply. This, in addition to gas ventures generally falling out of favor with public operators during the past five years, has placed the Haynesville squarely in a bucket of perceived Tier II opportunities.

But as 2016 drew to a close, the Haynesville was quietly clawing its way back as its rig count suddenly topped 20. This was an 80% increase from February lows and a stark contrast to trends across other gas plays that struggled to rebound amid stagnating prices. Rigs in the play have since doubled again to 40, striking distance from the 43 currently operating in the Marcellus. All of this occurred during a 12-month period when Henry Hub hovered near $3/ Mcf, demonstrating that wellhead economics have continued to improve across the ArkLaTex Basin’s premier shale play.

But will this resurgence last? Much of the progress in the Haynesville since 2014 has been driven by private-equity-backed operators. This matters because their development schedules are likely to change upon their next financing event. Multiple companies already have filed S-1 documents to qualify for an initial public offering. If they indeed go public, which now seems likely, it could mean a piece of the ramp-up in activity was in large part to set the stage for public sale by proving their competencies and showing the ability to aggressively grow organically…


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