Collaborative, Integrated Approach Pays Off in the Haynesville

SIGMA³ Engineering and Petrohawk Work Together to Achieve Success



Operator: Petrohawk Energy Corporation

Location: Haynesville Shale, Northern Louisiana

SIGMA³ Engineering Solutions:

  • Drilling, Completion, Stimulation Design
  • Production Evaluation
  • Team-Driven Approach


  • Stimulated 280+ Wells & 3,400+ Frac Stages
  • Petrohawk Delivered 8 of the Top 10 Producing Wells in the Play
  • Instrumental in Petrohawk's Growth & Acquisition

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Engineering the Haynesville Shale of Northern Louisiana as a Team

The Haynesville Shale is the source rock for the Cotton Valley (also known as the Davis) Sandstone. With advances in horizontal drilling and hydraulic fracturing, the Haynesville became economically viable. Operators in the Cotton Valley recognized the benefits of skipping the Cotton Valley and exploiting the Haynesville. They also recognized exploitation of the Haynesville presented new engineering demands.

The First Wells
Chesapeake Energy Corporation completed the first horizontal Haynesville well, with very encouraging results. Following more Chesapeake wells, Petrohawk Energy Corporation and SIGMA³ entered the Haynesville exploitation and built new drilling and completion strategies for a horizontal well. Rather than replicating techniques used elsewhere, the team developed an integrated approach.

This integration paid-off: the well doubled the initial production of Chesapeake's best producer. Petrohawk and SIGMA³ continued making production records and held several of the top wells in the play.

Moving Forward: Design, Execute, Evaluate
The initial Petrohawk and SIGMA³ team success was the result of combining industry experience with geologic, petrophysical, and geomechanical knowledge. As time progressed, the team evaluated production, resulting in improved drilling and completion strategies. EURs increased by carefully opening wells and constraining production, thus preserving the conductivity in the far-field. The Petrohawk and SIGMA³ team worked together continuously in executing design alterations.

Successful Collaboration
The first well success was the precursor to many years of successful collaboration. As a team member, SIGMA³ provided engineering services (e.g., drilling, completion, and stimulation design plus production evaluation). The engineering expertise and evolution of this unconventional horizontal play proved to be instrumental in Petrohawk's growth and acquisition in 2011.

The SIGMA³-Petrohawk team stimulated 280+ wells and more than 3,400 frac stages. SIGMA³ engineers monitored and completed each stage, managing the pressure in real-time. The SIGMA³ completion design alterations, including screen-out mitigation, fluid and chemical reductions, and produced water reutilization, helped Petrohawk reduce costs.