The American Shales
The history of the U.S. shale plays, their founders and their leaders—from rich rock, unconventional ideas and unwavering determination to a renewed world energy future.
The American Shales Editorial Reviews
This is an excellent written account of how things went down. I thoroughly enjoyed walking through the history of the shales by the way of the pages of your manuscript. –Dan Steward, geologist and author, The Barnett Shale Play: Phoenix of the Fort Worth Basin, A History
The amount of research seems staggering to me but, more importantly, complete. The way you have documented the Bakken play is accurate. This also gives me confidence the other plays, which I did not know intimately, are accurate as well. –Dick Findley, geologist and chairman, American Eagle Energy Corp.
I think you have captured a very, very important part of the history of our industry and I commend you on a job well done. It is organized in a way that is logical and easy to read and understand. –Dr. Bobby B. Lyle, founder and chairman, Lyco Holdings Inc.
“This should be required reading in every energy program in any educational institution that has one…It is a marvelous tool to get someone up to speed on the state of this industry, i.e. ‘How did we get here?'” –Steve Antry, chairman and chief executive officer, Eagle Energy Exploration LLC
“Very thorough and well researched…You got some great interviews and access to the key players…and made the technical material accessible.” –Peggy Williams, geologist and editorial director, Hart Energy
“The research is excellent. I truly enjoyed the writing. The book will become the treatise on the evolution of the shale plays in North America!” –Jerry Eumont, managing director, upstream consulting, IHS Inc.
“A fine — comprehensive and thorough — treatise on the most interesting period of petroleum development in the U.S. that I have encountered in my career.” –Art Smith, retired chairman and chief executive officer, John S. Herold Inc.; author, Something from Nothing: Joe B. Foster and the People Who Built Newfield Exploration Company; and president, Triple Double Advisors LLC.
About the Author
Nissa Darbonne is editor-at-large for Oil and Gas Investor magazine. Prior to joining Hart Energy in 1998, she was the business editor for The Daily Advertiser (Lafayette, Louisiana), focusing on regional industry, including oil and gas extraction and transportation, and a government correspondent to The Morning Advocate (Baton Rouge, Louisiana). She received her B.A. in English and Journalism from the University of Southwestern Louisiana, now known as the University of Louisiana at Lafayette. She lives in Houston.
- Paperback: 374 pages
- Publisher: CreateSpace (April 30, 2014)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 1497375622
- ISBN-13: 978-1497375628
- Product Dimensions: 6 x 0.9 x 9 inches
- Shipping Weight: 1.4 pounds
Buy Now The American Shales
Nissa Darbonne began her journalism career in 1984 in the oil and gas fields of South Louisiana. She is editor-at-large for Oil and Gas Investor magazine, which she joined in 1998. Previously, Darbonne was the business editor for The Daily Advertiser (Lafayette, Louisiana) and a government correspondent to The Morning Advocate (Baton Rouge, Louisiana). She received her B.A. in English and Journalism from the University of Southwestern Louisiana, now known as the University of Louisiana at Lafayette. She lives in Houston, blogs at blogs.oilandgasinvestor.com/ogi-blogs and tweets @nissadarbonne. For more about The American Shales — the history of the U.S. shale plays, their founders and their leaders — visit TheAmericanShales.com
” which was also great, but I learned much more on top of …
October 26, 2014
Nissa’s book is an invaluable resource for anyone who wants to understand the shale revolution at its deepest level–that is, on the level of the people behind it. The book is filled to the brim with quotes and discussions directly from interviews with those who were behind the shale revolution, and not just the usual cast of characters such as Aubrey McClendon, Harold Hamm, and George Mitchell, but many more of the entrepreneurial characters behind it all. I also read Gregory Zuckerman’s book, “The Frackers,” which was also great, but I learned much more on top of that by reading this book, too.
Many of those interviewed have overlapping things to say about the discovery process in the various shale plays. While some might find this an irritating form of repetition in the book, I actually find it to be a benefit because it effectively chronicles the pervasiveness of how people were thinking about these plays and the kinds of paradigm shifts they all had to go through.
Hat’s off to Nissa!
The ideas, hard work, and perseverance that revolutionized the industry – with a bit of luck
January 31, 2015
The book has an unusually high information-to-noise ratio: it is packed with facts and meticulously researched, judging by the list of references. The author’s approach is straightforwardly no-nonsense: who did what, when, why, and how, starting with Mitchell Energy’s first fracked wells in Wise County, Texas, in 1951. It is not, nor should be, an easy read because it is information-intensive, yet some parts are as gripping, fascinating and, yes, inspiring as the best fiction.
I don’t know if “The American Shales” takes account of all the important developments in shale exploration but it covers enough ground to highlight what made the shale revolution possible. Small entrepreneurial explorers; easy access to subsoil through leasing, not licensing; risk-loving capital looking for high returns. But even if other countries recreate these conditions, the experience of American shales suggests that the technology won’t transfer automatically: oil geology is unpredictable.
Unfortunately the book has no maps or diagrams, which is why I have taken one star off, if reluctantly. One can always turn, say, to investor presentations by shale producers for that, but maps would have helped me enormously to follow the narrative. A few stratigraphic cross-sections and well design diagrams would also be appreciated, as well as a chronology of key events.
3-Mr. Mitchell E. Ayer
What a wonderful book. Nissa captures the frustrations and excitement of …
December 19, 2014
What a wonderful book. Nissa captures the frustrations and excitement of the different shale plays. She uses a lot if interviews so you hear the stories in their own words. This covers the Barnett, Bakken, Fayetteville, Haynesvile and Marcellus and the key players in those plays. I have given three copies as Christmas presents. This is just as good as John McPhee’s writing about pioneering geologists. I can’t recommend this book highly enough.
4-John A. Sullivan
June 24, 2014
I would recommend this book to anyone interested in learning about how the shale revolution came to be in the US. This is a very technical book, but it reads more like a fast-paced novel because the story is told in the words of the men who made it happen. You get a sense of their efforts to help open up the shale formations. I believe it is that personal touch, hearing them tell the story, that sets this book apart from the others about the shale developments out there now. Good reading and very thorough.