Friday, July 17, 2009

Father of the Shale

Forbes Magazine published a good interview with George Mitchell this week. Mr. Mitchell is the founder of Mitchell Energy & Development, the company which he sold to Devon Energy in 2002 for $3.5 billion on the strength of his early success in tapping the Barnett Shale.

Mitchell Energy was the first company to successfully exploit shale gas in the Barnett and it paved the way for the development of the subsequent shale plays, most notably (in my eyes) the Haynesville Shale. The interview is a quick read and it addresses questions like why independents are better suited than majors in exploiting shale plays and why the future success of shale gas is based on getting drilling costs down rather than gas prices up.

With any interview of an entrepreneur, you always have to apply the “grain of salt” principle, but it’s good to hear what Mr. Mitchell has to say. He is the main reason we care about things like the Haynesville Play today.

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