Eagle Ford Regional Rig Count at 240 – March 8, 2013

Breakeven Oil Prices Needed in South Texas Are Below $60 Per Barrel
Eagle Ford Breakeven Oil Prices

Eagle Ford Oil Prices | Click to Enlarge

The Eagle Ford Shale drilling rig count settled at 240 units running this past week. La Salle County is leading the way with 34 rigs running.

We spent most of the week at IHS CERAWeek, where the industry’s top executives converge to talk about the future of the energy industry. We came away even more convinced that plays like the Eagle Ford are the building blocks for a very bright future in the US.

While at the conference, we wrote on the breakeven oil price needed in the Eagle Ford. A representative from Baker Hughes noted that an oil price of $50-57 is needed to sustain a reasonable rate of return for operators. That number varies substantially across the play, but it’s one more vote of confidence in South Texas.

Eagle Ford Oil & Gas Rigs

The natural gas rig count was 24 this past week. That’s a NEW record low. Natural gas prices traded up during the week to $3.63/mmbtu on Friday afternoon. Cooler weather and the chance of US gas production actually declining have supported prices…

The oil rig count fell one to 215 running in the area. WTI crude futures traded below $90 per barrel during the week, but recovered to more than $91/bbl Friday afternoon. Eagle Ford crude prices are a little harder to track these days. Plains All American has stopped posting Eagle Ford prices except Eagle Ford light crude prices. Eagle Ford light traded at $88/bbl on March 7th. The majority of Eagle Ford crude is very light or condensate. Those that produce a crude close to 40 degrees API gravity will continue to fetch a premium.

There are 197 horizontal rigs running in the region. This marks the first time we’ve had less than 200 horizontal rigs running since June of 2011 and is likely the result of operators pulling back their rig count as drilling speeds have improved. An injection well is being drilled in Karnes County.

La Salle County leads development with 34 rigs running. DeWitt (30), Karnes (26), Webb (24), Gonzales (23), McMullen (23), Dimmit (17), Live Oak (14), Atascosa (11), Leon (7), Madison (5), Wilson (5) and Frio (4) round out the top counties in the region.

South Texas Oil & Gas News:

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Eagle Ford Rig Count by Operator

Operator Name Prior Week Current Week
BHP (Petrohawk) 31 32
EOG Resources 25 25
Marathon Oil 18 18
Chesapeake 16 16
ConocoPhillips 11 10
Murphy Oil 9 9
Pioneer Natural 10 9
Lewis Petroleum 8 8
Anadarko 7 7
Talisman Energy (Statoil) 8 7
Hunt Oil 6 6
Plains Exploration 6 6
EP Energy 5 5
Swift Energy 5 5
Carrizo Oil & Gas 4 4
Halcon Resources 5 4
Rosetta Resources 4 4
Cabot Oil & Gas 2 4
SM Energy 5 5
Comstock Resources 3 3
All Others 57 53
Total 245 240

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.

Eagle Ford Shale Drilling by County

Texas County Prior Week Current Week Texas County Prior Week Current Week
LA SALLE 33 34 ROBERTSON 4 3
DEWITT 29 30 ZAVALA 2 3
KARNES 25 26 FAYETTE 2 2
WEBB 25 24 GRIMES 3 2
GONZALES 25 23 AUSTIN 0 0
MCMULLEN 24 23 BASTROP 0 0
DIMMIT 21 17 BEE 0 0
LIVE OAK 15 14 BURLESON 0 0
ATASCOSA 9 11 COLORADO 0 0
LEON 7 7 DUVAL 0 0
MADISON 5 5 GOLIAD 0 0
WILSON 7 5 LEE 0 0
FRIO 1 4 MAVERICK 0 0
LAVACA 5 4 MILAM 0 0
BRAZOS 3 3 Washington 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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