The Cline Shale: Texas’ next big boom could be the nation’s biggest yetJuly 19, 2013
The Cline Shale formation in West Texas is an oil and gas rich formation that is drawing attention as the two primary Texas shale plays (Barnett and Eagle Ford) approach saturation. Although the Cline formation is noticeably smaller in physical area than either Barnett or Eagle Ford, the hydrocarbons are denser and, by some estimates, the Cline may yield much more than Eagle Ford and North Dakota’s Bakken – the two largest developed shale plays in the US – combined; perhaps as much as 30 billion barrels:
the field is only about 140 miles long and 70 miles wide. However, packed within that small space could be a plethora of shale oil and natural gas, to the tune of 3.6 million barrels of recoverable oil per square mile. Putting it another way, the Cline Shale’s 9,800 square miles could contain a whooping 30 billin barrels of recoverable oil. That would make the field 50% larger than both the prolific Eagle Ford and North Dakota’s Bakken – combined. The latest estimates for the Bakken top out at 11 billion barrels, while the Eagle Ford top-end figures for recoverable oil are near 10 billion. The projected drilling window of the Cline is also impressive. Early estimates show that the target zone for oil production is between 200 and 500 feet thick. This would be equivalent to having ten Eagle Ford Shales stacked on top of each other
The Cline formation is part of the Permian Basin. In the map below, the Cline is found roughly within the triangle formed by the three points of Lubbock, Odessa and Abilene. A group of interested parties has set up and maintain a website to promote Cline Shale which features a set of maps, facts and figures, and other important links.