The natural gas industry and most investors had left the Haynesville Shale for dead. The economics of the natural gas-rich shale play just aren't as good as the Marcellus in an environment where gas prices were low. The economics, however, are starting to change as costs drop and gas prices rise. However, that's not the real reason that top Haynesville Shale drillers such as Chesapeake Energy (OTC:CHKA.Q), EXCO Resources (NYSE: XCO), and Freeport-McMoRan (NYSE:FCX) are growing more excited by the re-emergence of the Haynesville Shale. Instead, these companies are interested in its potential to supply the growing number of export facilities being built along the Gulf Coast.
The Haynesville Shale is loaded with natural gas. Chesapeake Energy estimates that it has 10 trillion cubic feet equivalent of net recoverable resources in that asset. Meanwhile, Freeport-McMoRan thinks its position holds 5 trillion cubic feet equivalent of recoverable natural gas. To put that into perspective, those two companies could produce enough natural gas to meet the energy needs of 15 million U.S. households for 15 years. That said, a lot of that gas won't be heating American homes as this shale play couldn't be more perfectly positioned for the export market, as the following map shows.
To help investors gain a better understanding of the Haynesville Shale as well as the companies that are perfectly positioned to profit from its reemergence, I created the following slideshow, which details the positions of Chesapeake Energy, EXCO Resources and Freeport-McMoRan as well as overviews the LNG export facilities that should be coming online through the end of the decade.