Recent production test results from the first two horizontal wells completed in the Tuscaloosa Marine Shale (TMS) in Louisiana have been encouraging and there is likely more good news to come, according to the state’s Department of Natural Resources (DNR) secretary.

“While there is still much work in exploration and appraisal to be done in the Tuscaloosa Marine Shale before we know how strong the energy industry’s investment might be, it is extremely encouraging to know that the first two attempts to complete production wells using modern horizontal drilling methods have produced solid tests,” said DNR Secretary Scott Angelle.

Angelle noted that Devon Energy Corp. reported an initial test of 120 b/d in its first completed horizontal TMS well in East Feliciana Parish. On the other side of the Mississippi River, Indigo Minerals, with its well in Rapides Parish, reported an initial test of 540 b/d (see Shale Daily, Dec. 14). Indigo calls the play the “Louisiana Eagle Ford.” The Eagle Ford play is best known in Texas, but in Louisiana, the Eagle Ford and the Tuscaloosa Marine Shale are considered part of the same overall trend.

The TMS is believed to underlie much of central Louisiana, with potential productive areas currently being explored from Vernon Parish to Tangipahoa Parish, according to Louisiana DNR. The energy industry has been observing the development of the TMS, believed to have the potential to contain oil reserves in addition to natural gas (see Shale Daily, Feb. 28).

“As more wells are drilled, exploration companies will learn more about formation and better understand how to most economically develop the play and maximize their production, potentially creating greater interest in investing there and expanding exploration,” Angelle said.

Devon has hit near its target depth on another TMS well in Tangipahoa Parish and has permits for two wells in the play in East Feliciana Parish. Indigo is seeking investor partners to expand operations in the trend.