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Discovered in the 1980s, the Barnett Shale is a large natural gas shale formation known to cover more than 5,000 square miles of North Texas, much of it beneath urban areas of Fort Worth and other Metroplex cities.

More than 9 trillion cubic feet of natural gas have been produced from the Barnett Shale. Currently, 24 counties have producing wells, with permits issued for a 25th county. More than 70 rigs are currently drilling in the Barnett Shale.

Texas is reaping the benefits. In 2011, the Barnett Shale activity accounted for 38.5% of the incremental growth in the economy of the region over the past decade. It constituted about 8.5 percent of the local business complex.

See how the Barnett Shale compares to the Eagle Ford Shale.

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* Information from “A Decade of Drilling” impact report by the Perryman Group