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Unconventional gas plays in the US have been booming since technological advances increased production in the now-famous Barnett Shale. Horizontal drilling and fracture stimulation in the shale source rock, as opposed to the sandstone/limestone/dolomite reservoir rock, have proved to be successful not only in gas plays like the Barnett, Fayetteville and Woodford, but also in the Bakken-a primarily oil-rich formation.
Resources that were previously thought to be unrecoverable are now being reassessed and, in some cases, rediscovered. Many shale plays have been producing a small amount of gas for years (the Indiana and Kentucky New Albany Shale since the late 1880s), but with the Barnett example, they are becoming more successful. Hot plays in the industry include the Louisiana/Texas Haynesville and Bossier Shales, and the Marcellus of Pennsylvania/Appalachia. The Williston Basin Bakken Formation has also gained popularity after a recent reassessment by the USGS.
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