Deep, water-free gas potential is upside to New Albany shale play

Terence Hamilton-SmithHamilton-Smith LLCLexington, Ky. The New Albany shale of the Illinois basin contains major accumulations of Devonian shale gas, comparable both to the Antrim shale of the Michigan basin and the Ohio shale of the Appalachian basin.1 The size of the resource, originally assessed at 61 tcf,2 has recently been increased to between 323 tcf3 and 528 tcf.4 According to the 1995 U.S. Geological Survey appraisal, New Albany shale gas represents 52% of the undiscovered oil and gas reserves of the Illinois basin, with another 45% attributed to coalbed methane. New Albany shale gas has been developed episodically for over 140 years, resulting in productio...

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