While your brain is being picked I've got a question. I've been told that in areas of the Marcellus that the shale is thicker (500'-600') the theory is that after the initial wells are depleted another round of drilling and fracking could be done into the next 50'-100' feet of shale and so on. Do you know if this theory has been tested or if it is just rumor that has been bounced off the hills and changed into something that it was never intended to be?
that was a real early landowner theory jesse. i still hear folks bragging about how thick their shale is, but thickness of the interval may not have much bearing on productivity.
the shale itself is just minerals, minerals (clay) do not produce gas, carbonaceous materials do. the gas bearing portion of the interval is often referred to as "black shale" because it has carbon mixed with the clay that forms the shale. the black shale is in the lower portion of the interval. it settled to the bottom as the mineral deposits were being laid down which would become the marcellus shale.
the percentage of carbon contained within the shale is a.k.a. its' t.o.c. (total organic carbon). the higher the toc, in most cases, the better the productivity of the interval. there can be exceptions of course as in the cases where the shale is overmature.
the thickest portions of the marcellus are across the delaware in new jersey, however the shale there is primarily grey, it lacks toc and is therefore not prospective for commercial amounts of gas.
conversely in southwest pa., the shale is much thinner than it is here in nepa, and so its' toc is much higher...richer. it also has a shallower burial history and so is much less mature and that is why it produces liquids which are less mature...more complex hydrocarbons. the longer the hydrocarbons cook underground, the simpler the molecules become, with ch4 (methane) being the simplest hydrocarbon before it turns to co2 which aint worth squat.
none of that is to say that there isnt sufficient toc higher up in the same interval to produce gas, but drilling is currently in the bottom richer portion, because thats where the best profits are. time will prove and disprove lots of theories.
I hope so too. Just does not make sense.
it sounds like in your area chk has really gone over the top with these deductions. maybe they're trying to get someone to sue so that they can have a judge decide what the maximum allowable deductions will be like in the range resources decision down in southwest pa.
you guys need to take this to court soon unfortunately, because even if it is ruled that they must lower the deductions later on, they will have in effect given themselves interest free loans against your royalties.
i wish you guys luck.
Statoil has been the highest every month in deductions so far for us. Sometimes more than double what the others have charged.
Perhaps reading this article regarding a class action suit in Texas regarding deductions that Chesapeake has been taking will be helpful. Best of Luck in getting a resolution.