Advancements in horizontal drilling and hydraulic fracturing, thanks in large part to Mitchell Energy, have made the once passed-over Barnett Shale of Texas quite important in terms of possible supply and current production. In fact many thought the Barnett Shale could be the biggest onshore natural gas field in the United States until the Marcellus Shale started being developed. The Barnett shale is estimated to produce natural gas near 900 billion cubic feet (Bcf) per year until 2030, an astounding figure. Development of the Barnet shale has resulted in more than 100,000 jobs since 2001.
The Barnett Shale is a testament to the benefits of horizontal drilling as most of the energy reserves sits under the population centers of Fort Worth.