Eagle Ford Shale Regional Rig Count Rises Two to 278 – June 8, 2012

Eagle Ford Shale MapThe Eagle Ford Shale drilling rig count rose by two this past week to 278. That’s near the average of 279 that ran last month. May was the most active month in the region’s history. 279 rigs running throughout the month beat the April record by 5 rigs.

Pioneer Natural Resources Eagle Ford position is up for discussion this week. The company has been active in the region since the discovery of the Pawnee Field over 50 years ago. Prior to the Eagle Ford’s discovery, the company was focused in the development of its Edwards Trend assets. After drilling exploration wells that produced more than 10 mmcfd, the company entered a joint venture with Reliance Industries in June of 2010. Full development kicked off shortly thereafter. Currently, the company targets the gas condensate window of the play with 12 rigs running across four counties. Five rigs are active in Live Oak, four in DeWitt, two in Karnes and one in Bee County. The company is delaying two additional rigs until natural gas prices improve.

Eagle Ford Oil & Gas Rigs

The natural gas directed rig count (Smithbits) remained at 70. McMullen County dropped gas rigs in favor of oil rigs this past week. Now, Karnes, Live Oak, and Webb counties are the only three counties with more than ten rigs targeting natural gas. Henry Hub futures prices traded flat over the past week at $2.31/mmbtu on Friday afternoon. Oil prices remained flat as well. WTI was trading just over $83.30/bbl. During the past week, oil directed activity increased by one rig to 206.

258 horizontal rigs are running in the region, with 1 disposal well being drilled in Atascosa County and 1 water well drilled in McMullen County. Karnes County leads development with 39 rigs and La Salle has 35 rigs. Dimmit (33), McMullen (30), Gonzales (23), Webb (23), DeWitt (21), Live Oak (14) and Atascosa (11) make up the top Eagle Ford counties.

News items this week included:

Devorah Fox from Mike Byrnes & Associates contributed an article related to Driving Fatigue in the Oilfield.

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Drilling Rig Count by Operator

Operator Name Prior Week Current Week
Chesapeake 34 34
EOG Resources 24 24
Petrohawk (BHP) 24 24
Marathon Oil (Hilcorp) 19 19
ConocoPhillips 16 16
Pioneer Natural 12 12
Talisman Energy (Statoil) 11 12
Anadarko 10 10
Murphy Oil 10 10
Plains Exploration 8 8
SM Energy 7 7
Lewis Petroleum 6 6
Shell 6 6
Exxon (XTO) 6 6
Rosetta 5 5
Swift Energy 5 5
Hunt Oil 4 4
Carrizo Oil & Gas 3 3
Dan Hughes 3 3
El Paso Energy 3 3
All Others 60 61
Total 276 278

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 38 39 LAVACA 4 3
LA SALLE 37 35 WILSON 3 3
DIMMIT 31 33 BEE 3 2
MCMULLEN 28 30 DUVAL 2 2
GONZALES 24 23 LEE 2 2
WEBB 23 23 LEON 3 2
DEWITT 23 21 Washington 1 2
LIVE OAK 11 14 AUSTIN 1 1
ATASCOSA 11 11 BRAZOS 2 1
FRIO 6 7 FAYETTE 1 1
MADISON 6 6 MAVERICK 1 1
ZAVALA 5 5 BASTROP 0 0
GRIMES 4 4 COLORADO 0 0
ROBERTSON 3 4 GOLIAD 0 0
BURLESON 3 3 MILAM 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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