Antrim Shale - Antrim Shale Map - Michigan Oil & Natural Gas

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Antrim Shale - Antrim Shale Map - Michigan Oil & Natural Gas

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What is the Antrim Shale?  The Antrim shale lies in the Michigan Basin with principal development in Ostego and Montmorency Counties, Michigan and to a lesser extent in Kalkaska, Crawford and Oscoda Counties, Michigan. While the bulk of the play lies in Michigan, the Antrim Shale covers roughly 39,000 square miles and extends into ares of Ohio and Indiana, as well as Michigan.  The Antrim shale is a brownish-black shale that overlies the Traverse Formation.  The shale mainly produces methane (CH4) with minor amounts of CO2. Most drills in the Antrim shale require stimulation by hydraulic fracturing to attain commercial production rates, however; natural fractures are still and important control on Antrim shale gas production. The U.S. Geological Survey's National Assessment of U.S. Oil and Gas estimates that approximately 7 trillion cubic feet of gas (2005) are recoverable in addition to discovered quantities from the Antrim shale.

The Antrim Shale is a shallow gas play.  Two other shale plays, the Utica Shale and the Collingwood Shale run beneath the Antrim Formation in Michigan and Ohio.  While the Antrim play is mostly natural gas, there has been some liquids and oil found.

History - Antrim shale gas production began back in the 1940s in northern Michigan where 8 gas wells were drilled in Otsego County, Michigan.  However; it wasn't until the 1980s that the Antrim shale gained its popularity for being a key drilling objective.  New technologies during the late 1970's into the 1980's made it possible for the Antrim shale to economically produce gas.  To date, over 9,000 gas wells have been drilled throughout the Antrim shale play with depths of the wells ranging mainly from 150 feet to 1500 feet, however; a few wells have been drilled as deep as 2,200 feet. Wells drilled into the Antrim shale have proven to be relatively inexpensive, with an average cost of approximately $350,000 in late 2008.

Antrim Shale 2013 - Due to low natural gas prices in the U.S, the Antrim Shale will probably see little activity in 2013.  Oil in the Antrim Shale has been mild so exporation and production companies haven't shown a lot of interest.  However, if natural gas prices rise up between 5-7 BCF you will see a lot more drilling come back to the Antrim Shale.  For now, keep track of comments given by the drilling companies below.

See Also - Collingwood Shale - Utica Shale

Antrim Shale Map
Antrim Shale Map
Antrim Shale - Michigan Map

Companies Drilling in the Antrim Shale - Antrim Shale Stocks

Key Companies Drilling for Natural Gas in the Antrim Shale: 

Breitburn Energy Partners LLP (BBEP) added proved reserves totaling 8.2 million barrels of equivalent from additions as of 2008. Of the 8.2 million barrels, 6.7 million barrels of oil equivalent were additions primarily in the Michigan Antrim trend where they drilled 116 wells.

Atlas Energy (ATLS) is currently the largest oil and gas producer in the Antrim shale in northern Michigan.  They operate roughly 2,500 wells in the area due to horizontal drilling techniques that have opened up new areas of development.  The company is the lowest cost producer in the Antrim shale, boasting production costs roughly 30% less than its competitors in the area.  However, Atlas Energy (ATLS) hasn't been active in the Antrim in 2012 due to low natural gas prices.  Expect this to be the case as we go into 2013-2014.  

Whiting Petroleum Corp. (WLL) estimated proved reserves in the Michigan region were 7.4 MMBOE as of December 31, 2009.Most of the reserves are in non-operated Antrim shale wells in northern Michigan.  Whiting Petroleum's portion of theAntrim shale play covers roughly 14,700 net acres across Missauke, Clare and Oceola Counties.

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