Eagle Ford Rig Count at 284 Surpasses Record Again May 18, 2012

Drilling Expands as Expectations Grow

The Eagle Ford Shale drilling rig count rose two rigs to surpass last week’s record.  We now have 284 drilling units working the region. New records shouldn’t be a surprise. Operators are flocking to the Eagle Ford’s high liquids yields and promising economics. New projections from Bentek, UTSA, and other analyst all put the potential of the Eagle Ford around 1-2 million barrels per day of production. As stated before, that’s in a market that only produced 5 million b/d a few years ago! As Adam Bedard put it this week at Bentek’s Benposium, the U.S. and Canada are on a path to potential oil independence in the next decade.

For the third week in a row, we’re highlighting one of the most active operators in the Eagle Ford. Petrohawk, who was acquired by BHP in 2011, has 23 rigs active in the Eagle Ford. That’s an increase of 10 rigs since October of 2011. The company has 9 drilling in McMullen County, 5 in DeWitt, 5 in Karnes, 3 in La Salle and one in Live Oak County.

Eagle Ford Oil & Gas Rigs

The natural gas directed rig count fell one to 73 rigs. After Karnes County dropped a rig, DeWitt, McMullen, and Webb are the only counties with more than ten gas rigs running. Henry Hub futures prices traded up another 10% this week to almost $2.74/mmbtu. That’s a much welcomed move. Especially as oil prices dropped another $5 this week. We’re trading just above $91/bbl WTI as of Friday evening. During the week, oil directed activity increased to 209 rigs.

259 horizontal rigs are running in the region, with 2 disposal wells being drilled in Atascosa County. Karnes and La Salle counties lead development with 41 rigs. Dimmit (31), McMullen (28), Webb (27), DeWitt (23), Gonzales (22), Live Oak (13), and Atascosa with 13 make up the top Eagle Ford counties.

News items and announcements this week included:

We spent most of the week at Bentek’s Benposium in Houston. We heard from several industry leaders and plan to share the highlights in the coming days. Our first note from the event was published this morning – Eagle Ford’s Location Provides Long-Term Strategic Advantages

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Drilling Rig Count by Operator

Operator Name Prior Week Current Week
Chesapeake 34 34
EOG Resources 25 24
Petrohawk (BHP) 22 23
Marathon Oil (Hilcorp) 17 18
ConocoPhillips 17 17
Pioneer Natural 12 12
Talisman Energy (Statoil) 12 12
Anadarko 10 10
Murphy Oil 9 10
Plains Exploration 8 8
Lewis Petroleum 9 7
SM Energy 7 7
Shell 6 6
Swift Energy 6 6
Exxon (XTO) 5 6
Hunt Oil 5 5
Rosetta 5 5
Carrizo Oil & Gas 4 4
Dan Hughes 3 3
El Paso Energy 4 3
All Others 62 64
Total 282 284

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 45 41 ROBERTSON 2 3
LA SALLE 42 41 WILSON 3 3
DIMMIT 31 31 BEE 2 2
MCMULLEN 26 28 BRAZOS 3 2
WEBB 28 27 FAYETTE 2 2
DEWITT 25 23 LEE 2 2
GONZALES 20 22 MAVERICK 1 1
ATASCOSA 10 13 Washington 1 1
LIVE OAK 11 13 AUSTIN 1 0
ZAVALA 6 7 BASTROP 0 0
FRIO 6 5 BURLESON 0 0
GRIMES 4 5 COLORADO 0 0
LAVACA 4 4 DUVAL 0 0
LEON 5 4 GOLIAD 0 0
MADISON 2 4 MILAM 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

Comments

  1. Bill Parker says:

    Sure would be nice to have an inter-active map of the rig locations like Baker-Hughes.

  2. Tim Walker says:

    Great report Mr.Dukes, keep up the good work!
    Just wondered (in the the first paragrap above) is the “5 million b/d a few years ago!” correct?

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