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Fayetteville Shale Operations

The Fayetteville Shale is a Mississippian-age unconventional gas reservoir located on the Arkansas side of the Arkoma Basin, ranging in thickness from 50 to 550 feet and ranging in depth from 1,500 to 6,500 feet. Southwestern discovered the economic viability of the Fayetteville Shale and was the first company to drill and successfully produce its natural gas.  At December 31, 2014, Southwestern held leases for approximately 888,161 net acres in the Fayetteville Shale, and excluding acreage in the conventional Arkoma Basin, obtained its acreage at an average cost of approximately $320 per acre (average royalty interest of 15%).

As of December 31, 2014, Southwestern had spud a total of 4,578 wells in the Fayetteville Shale since its commencement in 2004, of which 4,002 were operated by Southwestern and 576 were outside-operated wells. Of these wells, 468 were spud in 2014, 527 in 2013 and 491 in 2012. Of the wells spud in 2014, all were designated as horizontal wells.

Over the past several years, Southwestern has seen significant improvement in its drilling practices in the Fayetteville Shale. In 2014, Southwestern’s operated wells had an average completed well cost of $2.6 million per well, average horizontal lateral length of 5,440 feet, and an average time to drill to total depth of 6.8 days from re-entry to re-entry.

In 2015, Southwestern plans to invest approximately $560 million in the Fayetteville Shale properties, which includes participating in approximately 225 to 235 gross wells, all of which Southwestern plans to operate.

Last Updated on 06/04/2015
888,161 net acres (12/31/14)
2014 Reserves:
5,069 Bcf (47% of total)
2014 Production:
494 Bcf (64% of total)
Geologic profile:
An unconventional gas reservoir that extends across northern Arkansas from the state's western edge throughout north central Arkansas. Ranging in thickness from 50 to 550 feet and varying in depth from 1,500 to 6,500 feet, this Mississippian-age shale is the geologic equivalent of the Barnett Shale currently producing in north Texas.