Information & Statistics
What is the Barnett Shale?
The Barnett Shale is a hydrocarbon-producing geological formation of great economic significance to Texas. It consists of sedimentary rocks and the productive part of the formation is estimated to stretch from the city of Dallas west and south, covering 5,000 square miles (13,000 km²) and at least 18 counties in Railroad Commission of Texas Districts 5, 7B and 9. The Barnett Shale is one of the largest onshore natural gas fields in the United States. The field name for the productive portion of the Barnett Shale formation has been designated as the Newark, East (Barnett Shale) Field by the Railroad Commission of Texas. The shale was named for the Barnett Stream, where in the early 20th century during a mapping exercise, geologists noted thick, black organic-rich shale in an outcrop close to the stream, which was named for John W. Barnett who settled in San Saba County during the late 19th Century.