Eagle Ford Shale Regional Rig Count Flat at 278 – June 15, 2012

Talisman Energy Eagle Ford Shale Acreage Map

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The Eagle Ford Shale drilling rig count held flat at 278 this past week. Activity began approaching current levels in March and the region hasn’t experienced a big change in either direction over the past ten weeks. That’s good news in the face of falling oil prices. We’ve touched on this before, but it is worth mentioning again. If there is going to be an impact from the oil price decline over the past four to five weeks, we will not know for a couple of months. The rig count normally lags commodity price indicators by roughly three months.

Talisman Energy is up for review this week. Talisman is the operating partner in a JV with Statoil in the Eagle Ford Shale. The company entered the play through the acquisition of Common Resource’s acreage in May of 2010. Talisman entered a joint venture with Statoil shortly thereafter. The partners have made subsequent acquisitions and Talisman now controls over 85,000 net acres across the play. The majority of the partnership’s activity targets the Eagle Ford in Karnes, La Salle, and McMullen counties along the liquids-rich/gas-condensate portion of the play. The company has 12 rigs running as of June 2012, with seven targeting gas and five targeting oil. Drilling activity is up from ten rigs at the end of 2011.

Eagle Ford Oil & Gas Rigs

The natural gas directed rig count (Smithbits) rose to 72 this past week. Karnes, Live Oak, and Webb counties are the only counties with more than ten rigs targeting natural gas. Henry Hub futures prices traded up over 10% on Thursday after bullish natural gas storage data was published by the EIA. Prices were still trading up around $2.46/mmbtu on Friday afternoon. Oil prices remained flat again this week. WTI was trading at $84.00/bbl. During the past week, oil directed activity decreased by one rig to 205.

256 horizontal rigs are running in the region and one water well is being drilled in McMullen County. Karnes County leads development with 40 rigs and La Salle has 35 rigs. Dimmit (32), McMullen (30), Gonzales (23), Webb (23), DeWitt (22), Live Oak (14) and Atascosa (10) make up the top Eagle Ford counties.

News items this week included:

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Drilling Rig Count by Operator


Operator Name Prior Week Current Week
Chesapeake 34 33
EOG Resources 24 23
Petrohawk (BHP) 20 22
Marathon Oil (Hilcorp) 19 19
ConocoPhillips 16 16
Talisman Energy (Statoil) 12 12
Pioneer Natural 12 11
Anadarko 10 10
Murphy Oil 10 10
Plains Exploration 8 8
Shell 6 7
SM Energy 7 7
Lewis Petroleum 6 6
Exxon (XTO) 6 6
Hunt Oil 4 5
Rosetta 5 5
Swift Energy 5 5
Carrizo Oil & Gas 3 3
Dan Hughes 3 3
El Paso Energy 3 3
All Others 65 64
Total 278 278

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 39 40 BURLESON 3 3
LA SALLE 35 35 LAVACA 3 3
DIMMIT 33 32 DUVAL 2 2
MCMULLEN 30 30 LEON 2 2
WEBB 23 23 Washington 2 2
DEWITT 21 22 AUSTIN 1 1
GONZALES 23 21 BEE 2 1
LIVE OAK 14 14 BRAZOS 1 1
ATASCOSA 11 10 COLORADO 0 1
ZAVALA 5 8 FAYETTE 1 1
FRIO 7 6 LEE 2 1
MADISON 6 6 MAVERICK 1 1
GRIMES 4 4 BASTROP 0 0
ROBERTSON 4 4 GOLIAD 0 0
WILSON 3 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

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