Eagle Ford Shale Regional Rig Count Soars to 282 – May 11, 2012

WellheadThe Eagle Ford Shale drilling rig count jumps 11 rigs this past week to set a new record in the region at 282 rigs.  That’s in the same week that UTSA released expectations of the economic impact of the play.  In 2011 alone, the Eagle Ford supported almost 50,000 jobs and had an overall impact of $25 billion in South Texas. Better yet, employment figures will likely swell to more than double the 2011 numbers and the total impact could increase three to four fold! You can find our notes from the Economic Impact of the Eagle Ford Luncheon – Here.

The rig count surpassed the previous weekly record of 278 that was hit twice in April.  This week, we’re highlighting the second most active operator in the Eagle Ford. EOG has 25 rigs active with 13 in Gonzales County, 8 in Karnes, 3 in La Salle, and one in Atascosa County. The company’s success led to EOG Increasing Liquids Volume Growth Projections in its quarterly call.

Eagle Ford Oil & Gas Rigs

The natural gas directed rig count rose four rigs this week to a total of 74. We now have ten or more gas rigs running in four counties – DeWitt, Karnes, McMullen, and Webb. Henry Hub futures prices have traded up to $2.50/mmbtu this week. That’s a 20% move over the past couple of weeks and will be welcomed by oil & gas operators. It’s still much lower than many companies need, but it’s better than $2 or less…..

Oil directed activity jumped 5 rigs to 206 as oil prices fell to less than $96 per bbl on Friday.

260 horizontal rigs are running in the region, with 2 disposal wells being drilled in Atascosa County. Karnes County leads development with 45 rigs. La Salle (42), Dimmit (31), Webb (28), McMullen (26), DeWitt (25), Gonzales (20), Live Oak (10), and Atascosa with 10 make up the top Eagle Ford counties.

Several earnings reports, as well as the economic impact study dominated headlines this week:

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Drilling Rig Count by Operator

Operator Name Prior Week Current Week
Chesapeake 34 34
EOG Resources 24 25
Petrohawk (BHP) 19 22
Marathon Oil (Hilcorp) 16 17
ConocoPhillips 17 17
Pioneer Natural 12 12
Talisman Energy (Statoil) 13 12
Anadarko 10 10
Lewis Petroleum 7 9
Murphy Oil 10 9
Plains Exploration 8 8
SM Energy 7 7
Shell 6 6
Swift Energy 6 6
Hunt Oil 5 5
Rosetta 5 5
Exxon (XTO) 4 5
Carrizo Oil & Gas 4 4
El Paso Energy 4 4
Dan Hughes 3 3
All Others 57 62
Total 271 282

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 43 45 WILSON 3 3
LA SALLE 39 42 BEE 0 2
DIMMIT 28 31 FAYETTE 2 2
WEBB 26 28 LEE 2 2
MCMULLEN 28 26 MADISON 1 2
DEWITT 24 25 ROBERTSON 2 2
GONZALES 23 20 AUSTIN 1 1
LIVE OAK 11 11 MAVERICK 1 1
ATASCOSA 7 10 Washington 1 1
FRIO 8 6 BASTROP 0 0
ZAVALA 8 6 BURLESON 0 0
LEON 4 5 COLORADO 0 0
GRIMES 3 4 DUVAL 0 0
LAVACA 4 4 GOLIAD 0 0
BRAZOS 2 3 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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