Chattanooga Shale - Chattanooga Shale Map - Natural Gas Shale

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Chattanooga Shale Natural Gas Field - Tennessee Shale Formation

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The Chattanooga Shale is located in Eastern Tennessee, Northern Alabama, Southern Kentucky, and Northeast Georgia.  In Alabama, this Natural Gas Formation is located below the Floyd Shale which extends 2,500-6,500 feet below the earths surface.  The Chattanooga Shale, while still in It's infancy, is a fairly small gas shale play in the USA but companies such as Atlas Energy ATN, CNX Gas Company CXG , and GeoMet GMET are actively pursing this shale deposit.  These companies are snapping up Mineral Rights ( Drilling Rights ).

Location -  The Chatanooga Shale has been around  for a long time.  Only several years ago did geologists discover one thing.  The Chattanooga Shale Formation does not stop at the Tennessee and Kentucky state line.    The Chattanooga Shale Field is actually an extension of the Appalachian Basin Devonian Shale, which is known to most as the Marcellus Shale.  As described in the above paragraph, the Chattanooga Shale also extends in Alabama as well.  The area in Alabama is referred to the Black Warrior Basin.

The Devonian Chattanooga Shale is an organic, hydrocarbon rich shale found throughout Eastern Tennessee. This natural gas field is located beneath the Mississippian Fort Payne Limestone at a depth of between 3,000 and 4,000 feet. The shale thickness ranges from 80 to over 200 feet and is thought to be the source rock for the hydro-carbons produced from many of the conventional reservoirs in Tennessee. The Chattanooga Shale is the stratigraphic equivalent of the Lower Huron found in Eastern Kentucky and West Virginia.


The Chattanooga Natural Gas Field in eastern Tennessee averages 80-200 feet in thickness.  As you go North into Kentucky, the Chattanooga Shale thickens greatly to over 1,000 feet and holds rich areas of natural gas.  The thin Chattanooga Shale in eastern Tennesee and high natural gas prices back in 2008 sparked a lot of interest in Tennessee for drilling in this area.  Since that time, low natural gas prices have basically halted drilling.  However, when natural gas begins to rise again, companies believe this shale formation could be very profitable.

While the Chattanooga Shale looks promising in Tennessee, Alabama, and Kentucky; here are some other shale plays going on in the United States and Canada. Haynesville Shale -  Marcellus Shale -  Horn River Shale - Bakken Oil Shale - Fayetteville Shale - Brazil Oil Field -  Woodford ShaleBarnett Shale - Utica Shale

Companies involved in the Chattanooga Shale Play - Chattanooga Shale Stocks

Atlas Energy ATN -  Atlas Energy ATN has a strong presence at Chattanooga Shale -  Atlas Energy has accumulated 105,000 net acres located in Eastern Tennessee. The Company believes that its acreage contains up to 500 potential horizontal drilling locations in the Chattanooga Shale. Furthermore, most of this acreage is prospective from conventional reservoirs, such as the Monteagle (Big Lime), the Fort Payne Limestone, the Stones River and the Knox Group, for which the Company believes it has up to 750 locations.

- CNX Gas Company CXG -  CNX Gas has acreage in the Chattanooga Shale Play - Total production in Central Appalachia, which includes Virginia CBM and Chattanooga Shale, was 19.2 Bcf in the quarter ended December 31, 2009. This was 1.2 Bcf higher than the 18.0 Bcf produced in the quarter ended December 31, 2008. The Central Appalachia December run rate was 199 MMcf per day.

CNX Gas drilled 201 vertical frac wells in its Virginia CBM Operations during the year, exceeding the goal of 175. CNX Gas expects to drill 175 wells in Virginia in 2010 with a drilling budget of $50 million.

For 2010, CNX Gas expects to drill 25 Chattanooga Shale wells for about $28 million, and five Huron Shale wells for about $12 million. 

- Range Resources RRC - Range Resources tested the Floyd Shale section of the Chattanooga Shale Field - Let me quickly update you on the three plays in which we’re followers. In the Floyd Shale play Range has 50,000 acres in Alabama. We drilled one vertical well there last year. We tested the Chattanooga Shale section and it was disappointing. The well was abandoned without testing the Floyd Shale. It was written off in the fourth quarter as a dry hole.

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Chesapeake Energy CHK -  CHK is testing Chattanooga Shale Formation - The Alabama shale plays, we were targeting both the Conasauga and Chattanooga and we are drilling our second well there in our 50-50 partnership with Energen and in respect and deference to them, I will let you approach them for information about that play. We are the operator but they have home team there and so we'll move on from that.

- GeoMet Inc. GMETGMET has acreage in the Chattanooga Shale Natural Gas Field - At our Garden City Chattanooga shale prospect we had drilled five core holes and three production wells at the end of 2007. Since then we have drilled our first horizontal well in the prospect area and plan to drill two additional horizontal wells and one vertical well in 2008. We expect to connect three wells to gas sales this quarter in order to facilitate longer term testing. We are continuing to expand our 72,000 gross acre lease old position in this area.  At our Garden City Chattanooga shale prospect we had drilled five core holes and three production wells at the end of 2007. Since then we have drilled our first horizontal well in the prospect area and plan to drill two additional horizontal wells and one vertical well in 2008. We expect to connect three wells to gas sales this quarter in order to facilitate longer term testing. We are continuing to expand our 72,000 gross acre lease old position in this area.

Chattanooga Shale Map
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Tennessee Shale Map

Energen EGN - CHATTANOOGA SHALE WELL UNDER WAY - Energen Resources' new Chattanooga shale test well, the Westervelt 19-2 #1 located in Tuscaloosa County, Alabama, has been drilled to a vertical depth of approximately 8,700 feet and logged. The company plans to drill a 3,000-foot horizontal leg, test the well, and make an assessment of the Chattanooga shale's economic viability this summer.

Energen also has re-entered the Marchant well in Bibb County as a means of cost effectively evaluating the Conasauga shale potential in Alabama. The Marchant well was drilled to a total depth of 12,400 feet in 2008 in conjunction with Chesapeake Energy Company; as reported in December 2008, the well had good shows on the mud logs and 6-8 potential pay zones but did not produce meaningful amounts of gas when operator Chesapeake fracced the lowest interval at 11,500-11,700 feet. Results of additional testing in the Marchant well will help the company determine the feasibility of drilling a new well in the Conasauga play, as originally planned.

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