Natural Gas Rigs Falling – Eagle Ford Shale Drilling Holds Steady

Drilling Rig ImageThe Eagle Ford Shale drilling rig count fell 1 rig to 263 this past week. The rig count hasn’t moved much over the past month. It will be interesting to see if natural gas prices go low enough that operators cut back across the board. They might not want to, but without the capital you can’t drill a well no matter how good the prospect is.

Oil prices fell a couple of dollars to $98/bbl on the back of news that an EU oil embargo won’t happen for at least 6 months. Natural gas prices continued a path to pain for operators. The February natural gas contract is bouncing around $2.70/mmbtu (Henry Hub) and the natural gas rig count is falling quickly.  We lost 8 gas rigs this past week, which means we’ve lost 15 in the past two weeks. The loss was almost completely absorbed by the addition of 7 rigs drilling for oil (185 total). Horizontal wells account for activity from 244 rigs drilling and we have 0 injection or service wells being drilled.

Karnes County retook the lead in drilling this week and leads the region with 40 rigs. Webb (39), La Salle (32), DeWitt (27), McMullen (25), Gonzales (23), and Dimmit (20) are the hottest counties.

News in the Eagle Ford included several corporate announcements and a lot of energy around the Laredo Eagle Ford Job Fair. We also have another Eagle Ford Job Fair next week in San Antonio. Other news over the past week included:

Cal Chapman, P.E. contributed an article addressing Corrosion Control in the Eagle Ford. If you are an operator or have equipment working in the region, be sure to read his post at our Eagle Ford Blog.

Don’t forget our blog platform is open. If you have professional experience in the Eagle Ford and would like to be considered as a contributor, please Contact Us about guest blogging.

Come back weekly for updates on the South Texas drilling rig count. Better yet, Email Subscribe Link]

Drilling Rig Count by Operator


Operator Name Prior Week Current Week
Chesapeake 31 31
EOG Resources 25 27
ConocoPhillips 17 17
Petrohawk (BHP) 15 14
Marathon Oil (Hilcorp) 12 13
Pioneer Natural 12 12
Lewis Petroleum 12 12
Anadarko 11 10
Talisman 10 10
Exxon (XTO) 8 8
All Others 111 109
Total 264 263

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 37 40 BEE 2 2
WEBB 38 39 BURLESON 3 2
LA SALLE 32 32 LAVACA 3 2
DEWITT 26 27 MAVERICK 2 2
MCMULLEN 25 25 FAYETTE 1 1
GONZALES 25 23 GRIMES 1 1
DIMMIT 22 20 LEE 2 1
FRIO 8 9 Washington 0 1
LEON 10 9 AUSTIN 0 0
ROBERTSON 6 6 BASTROP 0 0
ATASCOSA 5 5 BRAZOS 0 0
LIVE OAK 5 5 COLORADO 0 0
MADISON 4 4 DUVAL 0 0
ZAVALA 5 4 GOLIAD 0 0
WILSON 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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