Drilling Rig Count Falls 7 on Thanksgiving Week – November 25, 2011

The Eagle Ford Shale drilling rig count fell 7 rigs over Thanksgiving week to a total of 257 running. We’re still running at a higher rate than any time before last weeks 264 number.  Approximately 210-215 rigs are targeting the Eagle Ford formation. Even with the dramatic drop in stock prices over the past week, oil prices have held relatively strong (WTI futures at $96 per barrel).  That bodes well for the Eagle Ford. Strong oil prices will help shield South Texas from any broader economic downfall.

Natural gas prices rebounded a bit, but we expect continued weakness as gas will likely be injected into storage through the middle of December. The natural gas rig count held flat at 101. Oil rigs accounted for the entire drop this week with a loss of 7 bringing us to a total of 155.

One rig continues to drill a Webb County disposal well. Webb (41) still leads the region, while La Salle (34) , Karnes (30), DeWitt (20), Dimmit (20), and Gonzales (20) counties together account for two-thirds of Eagle Ford drilling. Chesapeake Energy (31) and EOG Resources (26) are 10 rigs are more ahead of the third most active driller, ConocoPhillips (16).

News highlighted throughout the play this past week included:

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Drilling Rig Count by Operator


Operator Name Prior Week Current Week
Chesapeake 31 31
EOG Resources 26 26
ConocoPhillips (Burlington) 16 16
Petrohawk (BHP) 14 14
Pioneer Natural Res. 13 12
Lewis Petroleum 11 11
Anadarko 11 11
Talisman 9 8
Hilcorp (Marathon) 8 8
XTO (Exxon) 7 6
All Others 118 114

What is the Rig Count?

The Eagle Ford Shale Rig Count is an index of the total number of oil & gas drilling rigs running across a 30 county area in South Texas. The South Texas rigs referred to in this article are for ALL drilling reported by SmithBits and not solely wells targeting the Eagle Ford formation. All land rigs and onshore rig data shown here are based upon industry estimates provided by the Baker Hughes Rig Count and/or Smith Service Co’s (Schlumberger) Smith Rig Count.

Drilling Rigs by County

Texas County Prior Week Current Week Texas County Prior Week Current Week
WEBB 41 41 MADISON 5 3
LA SALLE 36 34 ROBERTSON 4 3
KARNES 30 30 COLORADO 2 2
DEWITT 22 21 DUVAL 0 2
DIMMIT 20 20 GRIMES 2 2
GONZALES 20 20 LAVACA 2 2
MCMULLEN 17 19 LEE 3 2
FRIO 12 12 FAYETTE 1 1
LEON 9 10 MILAM 1 1
LIVE OAK 10 10 AUSTIN 0 0
ATASCOSA 9 7 BASTROP 0 0
ZAVALA 7 5 BEE 0 0
WILSON 4 4 GOLIAD 0 0
BRAZOS 4 3 MAVERICK 0 0
BURLESON 3 3 Washington 0 0
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Kenneth E. DuBose

Kenneth E. DuBose

Kenneth DuBose is the past President of Cheyenne Minerals Inc., an independent oil and gas operator. He began his energy industry career with ARCO Oil & Gas. Mr. DuBose then directed development of natural gas storage projects with Tejas Power Corp. He was a founding member of U.S. Minerals, (acquired by Torch Energy in 1999) a provider of internet based education for America’s mineral owners. Mr. DuBose holds a BS in Petroleum Engineering from Mississippi State University. He has served on various industry steering committees, non-profit boards, and is an active member of the Society of Petroleum Engineers, the National Association of Royalty Owners, the American Association of Professional Landmen, as well as being a Registered Investment Advisor. He writes on topics of oil and gas investing, wealth management and personal finance, having appeared in the Wall Street Journal, Kiplinger’s, Kiplinger’s Personal Finance, Houston Business Journal, Financial Advisor and various radio and TV outlets.

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