Tuscaloosa Marine Shale
Central Louisiana is currently home to three important shale plays: The Tuscaloosa Marine Shale (TMS), Louisiana Eagleford Shale, and Austin Chalk. While these shale plays are in the early stages of development, the results are positive with the Indigo Minerals well producing 500 barrels per day,
The TMS is an unconventional resource play that has been estimated to contain over 7 billion barrels of potential oil production. It has been suggested that the TMS has some of the same characteristics and geological age as the Eagle Ford shale located in southern Texas. The TMS potential area stretches across a large portion of central Louisiana into the Florida parishes, and into Mississippi.
A study conducted by the Basin Research Institute of Louisiana State University identified that the shallowest depth of the TMS begins at approximately 10,000 ft. Currently, several companies are in the process of leasing and developing exploratory wells in the region.
In early December 2011, companies reported an initial test of 540 barrels of oil production per day from one of the first completed horizontal wells in the Tuscaloosa Marine Shale.
A new development that excites many throughout the state is the Austin Chalk formation. The Austin Chalk stretches across numerous fields in Texas, Louisiana and a small portion of Mississippi. Companies drilling the Austin Chalk are having huge success and are also finding other oil & natural gas rich zones such as the Eagle Ford Shale.
For decades, the Austin Chalk has produced prolific amounts of oil in parts of Texas. Today, oil and gas companies are discovering that the Austin Chalk trend is a very promising resource in Louisiana. Experts now realized that since the Austin Chalk retains thicker sands in Louisiana it could potentially exceed Texas in production from that geological horizon.