Eagle Ford Drilling Pushes to New Heights – 273 Rigs – March 9, 2012

Oil Rig Count Surpasses 200 Active Drilling Units for the First Time

Drilling Rig PhotoThe Eagle Ford Shale drilling rig count jumped 4 rigs to 273 active in the region. That’s a record for the area with four more rigs than the 269 rig record we set just one week ago. We are ten rigs above the 2011 exit rate and there are 10-15 more known rigs to be headed our direction over the coming months. If oil prices remain above $100, activity could possible stretch even higher.

Eagle Ford Oil & Gas Rigs

The natural gas rig count fell 2 to 72 this week. New lows in the natural gas rig count are coinciding with new highs in the oil rig count. Companies continue a shift in their operations from gassy portions of the play to areas that are supported by higher oil & condensate prices. Oil directed activity grew 6 rigs to drive us through the old record and to surpass 200 oil rigs working for the first time in the area.

Natural gas prices hit fresh 10-year lows this week on news that weather in the Northeast will continue to be mild. Gas traded below $2.30/mmbtu on Thursday. Oil held almost exactly the same – $106 per barrel (WTI) at the end of the week. The Eagle Ford is very attractive at $100+ oil prices and that’s the main reason we haven’t seen a drop in activity like many other areas of the country.

Horizontal wells account for activity from 254 rigs and we have no service wells being drilled. Karnes County leads development with 40 rigs. La Salle (38),Webb (31), Gonzales (28), DeWitt (27), McMullen (25), Dimmit (18), Live Oak (9), and Frio (9) make up the top Eagle Ford counties.

News from the week included:

If you’re traveling to San Antonio soon, be sure to visit our Eagle Ford Hotels page. We’ve negotiated discounted rates with hotels that are welcoming the Oil & Gas Industry.

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Drilling Rig Count by Operator


Operator Name Prior Week Current Week
Chesapeake 32 33
EOG Resources 30 31
Petrohawk (BHP) 19 19
ConocoPhillips 17 16
Marathon Oil (Hilcorp) 15 16
Pioneer Natural 11 12
Talisman 11 12
Anadarko 9 10
Lewis Petroleum 9 10
Plains Exploration 9 9
All Others 107 105
Total 269 273

 

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
KARNES 41 40 ROBERTSON 3 3
LA SALLE 40 38 WILSON 3 3
WEBB 33 31 LEE 2 2
GONZALES 28 28 MAVERICK 2 2
DEWITT 27 27 MILAM 1 2
MCMULLEN 21 25 BEE 1 1
DIMMIT 17 18 BRAZOS 1 1
FRIO 8 9 COLORADO 1 1
LIVE OAK 9 9 FAYETTE 1 1
ATASCOSA 7 8 Washington 1 1
LEON 7 6 AUSTIN 0 0
MADISON 5 6 BASTROP 0 0
LAVACA 4 4 BURLESON 0 0
ZAVALA 3 4 DUVAL 0 0
GRIMES 3 3 GOLIAD 0 0
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R.T. Dukes

R.T. Dukes

Managing Editor at EagleFordShale.com
R.T. is the managing editor of EagleFordShale.com. In prior roles, he advised major oil companies on strategy, the macro business environment, and opportunity screening. 2503 Robinhood, Houston, TX, 77005, U.S.A. | Telephone: 832.429.4790

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