2015 Archives

End of an era? Barnett Shale rigs now few and far between


The following is from the March 20, 2015, edition of The Fort Worth Star-Telegram. Bernard Weinstein, an economist and associate director of SMU's Maguire Energy Institute, provided expertise for this story.

March 24, 2015

By Max B. Baker

And then there was one.

In October 2008, there were about 200 drilling rigs searching primarily for natural gas in the Barnett Shale. Everywhere you turned, someone was poking a hole in the ground. Money, as well as gas, was flowing.

But by last week, there was only one rig reportedly working in the Barnett. The derrick in an industrial area along Loop 820 in east Fort Worth almost seemed to be hiding behind its tan sound barrier.

While three additional rigs were brought in this week, the fact you can count the number of area rigs on one hand is a sign of how things have changed in the once highflying Barnett, the 5,000-acre laboratory for shale exploration that ignited a domestic energy revolution.

Plummeting oil and gas prices, along with the seductive lure of bigger payouts in other parts of Texas and across the country, have brought exploration in North Texas nearly to a halt. . . 

“There is too much of this stuff around and that is why you are not seeing any drilling in the Barnett,” said Bernard Weinstein, an economist at Southern Methodist University’s Maguire Energy Institute. “You see it in the Barnett and you see it everywhere.”

Read the full story.

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