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Tuscaloosa Marine Shale promising

A deeper dive into top players


Goodrich Petroleum

Largest acreage position


March 31, 2014

Full Presentation



Sanchez Energy

Targeting >100% IRR


March 25, 2014

Full Presentation


With Spring in the air, some operators like Goodrich and Sanchez continue to push forward in one of the industry’s most expensive shale plays to drill. While the E&P industry has yet to crack the TMS development code, the substantial potential of the play ranks it among the most promising new plays in the US.
Goodrich proved to be the most aggressive developer of the TMS in 2013. Not only did GDP participate in the most wells in the play, but it also bought out Devon’s substantial acreage position. As a result, Goodrich now boasts the largest acreage position in the play with ~300,000 net acres, as well as interests in at least 15 active wells. Drilling through a rubble zone above the target TMS interval and casing issues continue to present cost overruns and completion difficulties. 
However, initial production rates >1,000 boepd, including the 1,540 boepd Anderson 17H #2 well, across a ~1.0 million acre area makes the TMS a huge resource. In 2014, Goodrich management plans to spend ~$262 million on its TMS operations.
While the publicly-traded Sanchez Energy did not make its entrée into the TMS until mid-2013, members of the Sanchez family have privately participated in drilling and evaluating the play since its infancy. Results proved compelling enough for Sanchez to make a $78 million purchase of 40,000 net acres in August 2013, a portion of which was held privately by other Sanchez family members. While Sanchez management understands early TMS wells will cost ~$15 million they still believe the play could generate 38% IRR for an 800 Mboe well. Sanchez is also confident that through development they can reduce well costs to $10 million thereby providing a decidedly more impressive 103% IRR on 800 Mboe reserves and $90/bbl oil. 
Sanchez hopes to see other operators like Goodrich drive well costs down before deploying development-level capex. Right now, Sanchez is only budgeting 10% if its $625 million capex in the play.  

More HOT slides and data below. 

     Shown below are more slides from 4 strong TMS players.  These include Halcon Resources, Contango Oil & Gas, Encana, and Comstock Resources. 


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featured.slides from docFinder

Slide Slide Slide Slide

Halcon Resources

Diving in headfirst

March 25, 2014

Contango Oil & Gas

Non-Op for now

February 18, 2014


$45 Supply Cost

March 3, 2014

Comstock Resources

Buys in for $54MM

March 20, 2014

Not one to do things in a small way, Floyd Wilson propelled Halcon into the TMS in 2013, picking up 235,000+ acres in the eastern portion of the play. While the western TMS has yet to see much activity, Halcon saw fit to retain 71,500 acres out West including Louisiana’s Rapides, Avoyelles, and LaSalle Parishes. Just a few weeks ago, the company also spud its first well in Wilkinson Co., MS which some think is the heart of the TMS.  Results are expected in early May 2014; a second HK-operated well should spud April 2014.

For those folks looking for a darkhorse TMS candidate, look no further than Contango Oil and Gas whose exploration success blends the offshore assets of the legacy company by the same name with the onshore Woodbine and Buda core assets of the former Crimson Oil and Gas. Together, this management team boasts 28,000 net acres in the TMS. With competition for capital from MCF’s other core plays, including the offshore Gulf of Mexico, Contango likely will deploy a Sanchez like strategy in 2014, opting to participate in non-op wells while the balance of the industry better defines cheaper drilling and completion methods.

Among the earliest entrants in the TMS and still a fan of its “Massive Oil Potential,” Encana holds 200,000 net acres in the Tuscaloosa Marine Shale and picked the play as one of its five-keepers in its aggressive restructuring late last year. With an estimated 8.0 Bboe in place, management estimates that its position ultimately could produce > 50,000 boepd. With the greatest tenure of TMS production data available, ECA likely will wait to see how wells perform and completion methods evolve in 2014 before getting more aggressive with the 2-rig 2014 plans.

Among the most recent publicly-traded entities to enter the TMS, Comstock Resources paid Amelia and other entities $54MM for 51,000 net, high working interest acres last December. With concentrated acreage positions in Wilkinson and Amite counties, MS, and St. Helena and East Feliciana Parishes, LA, Comstock's entry appears to be in the heart of the most active, eastern portion of the play. As of March 2014, Comstock's drilling program was still lax on the TMS, with only $27MM of the $450MM available dedicated to drilling 2 wells in the play. 

Full Presentation

Full Presentation

Full Presentation

Full Presentation

featured.transactions from PLS global M&A database

11/14/13Comstock buys 53,000 net acres from Amelia$54.50 MM
08/08/13Sanchez Energy buys interest in TMS from Sanchez Resources and Others$93.20 MM
07/22/13Goodrich purchases Devon TMS assets$26.70 MM
06/25/12Contango buys 24,000 net acres$8.80 MM

Source: PLS M&A Database