Eagle Ford Shale News

Swift Energy Cuts 56 Houston Jobs

Company Moves to Energy Corridor
Swift Energy Cuts Jobs

Swift Energy Cuts Jobs

Rumors are swirling about Swift Energy as they plan to layoff more employees while moving office locations.

Related: Swift Shifts Assets to be Bigger Eagle Ford Player

Swift Energy Co. emerged from Bankruptcy in April, followed by a major turnover in senior leadership. The latest company shakeup involves cutting more jobs as they move their Houston offices.

56 jobs will be cut as the company moves from its current location in the Greenspoint area to 575 N. Dairy Ashford Road, suite 1200, on or around Jan. 22, according to a letter to the Texas Workforce Commission. The letter says that the jobs will be cut between March 11 and March 31.

In one online forum dedicated to Swift layoffs, some expressed anger at the company’s management and speculated that they are looking to sell the company.

In November, Swift executives announced they had entered into an agreement to sell the Lake Washington field in South East Louisiana to Hilcorp Energy, in order to focus more on opportunities in the Eagle Ford. The sale closed in early December and the details included:

  • Cash consideration of $40.0 million upon closing
  • Approximately 14,000 net acres in Plaquemines Parish, includes 23 producing wells
  • Net sales of approximately 1,160 barrels of oil equivalent per day (97% oil)

Swift Energy Company is an independent oil and natural gas exploration and production company primarily focused on the Eagle Ford trend of South Texas. The company website says they have approximately 70,000 net acres and over 500 identified drilling locations in the Eagle Ford.

Read more at swiftenergy.com


RRC Facing Budget Challenges

Craddick Looks for Alternate Funding Sources

Texas Railroad Commission

The Texas Railroad Commission is facing a budget crunch as oil and gas prices continue to lag.

Related: Texas Oilfield Relief Initiative Takes Shape 

RRC Chairman Christi Craddick is hoping the Texas Legislature will move to fully fund the agency during its current session, according to Midland Reporter-Telegram.  The agency is funded mostly by oil and gas activity, which has suffered severe declines since prices crashed two years ago.

Craddick is looking for ways to augment the falling revenue, which has taken a toll on the agency’s personnel department. She said the agency’s number of employees drop from 1500 in the 1990’s to 690 today.  The jobs shortage presents a huge challenge for the agency, because the work still has to be done.

One alternate source of revenue could potentially come from a natural gas utility tax, which could be diverted directly to the Railroad Commission.

In August, Craddick revealed details this week on the Texas Oilfield Relief Initiative, a new project designed to make the state’s energy regulatory body more efficient and effective. The initiative is designed to ensure public and environmental protections while also reducing the regulatory administrative burden on industry.

“Our idea is, make it easier for more people to continue to produce. Make it easier for them to have more people out on the ground drilling, and have less paperwork. And what does that do long-term for the state? Job creation is important to this state. Oil and gas provides about 30% of the jobs in Texas.”  – Railroad Commission Chairman, Christi Craddick.
Some details of the Texas Oilfield Relief Initiative that will reduce administrative burdens include:
  • Identify agency reports and filings that can be reduced or eliminated
  • Amend rules to modify gas well deliverability reporting requirements
  • Reduce the need for G-10  filings except for surface commingled production
  • Allow a calculated well shut-in pressure to be provided when filing Form G-10 for gas wells
  • Amend production requirements for marginal and stripper wells
  • Revise “Active Oil Well” definition from ten barrels of oil (BO) per month for 3 consecutive months to five BO per month for 3 consecutive months or any reported production in each month for a consecutive 12 month period (SWR 15)
  • Revise “Active Gas Well” definition from 100 mcfg per month to 50 mcfg per month or any reported production in each month for a consecutive 12 month period (SWR 15)
  • Implement a revised internal inspection priority system
  • Identify counties in which the usable quality water protection depth is constant
  • Issue guidance for implementation of the Texas Environmental, Health & Safety Audit Privilege Act
  • Eliminate forms no longer useful to the Commission’s regulatory functions to reduce regulatory administrative burden on staff and industry
  • Simplify the complete duplication of a drilling permit application with a sworn statement of no changes to the original application


In the following video, Commissioner Craddick talks about the Oilfield Initiative.


Anadarko to Sell Eagle Ford Assets

$2.3 Billion Deal Includes 318,000 Acres
Anadarko Sells Eagle Ford Assets

Anadarko Sells Eagle Ford Assets

Anadarko announces plans to sell its interest in 318,000 Eagle Ford acres.

Related: Venada and KKR to Develop Eagle Ford

Anadarko Petroleum Corporation (NYSE: APC) announced today it has agreed to sell its Eagle Ford Shale assets for approximately $2.3 billion to Sanchez Energy Corporation and Blackstone Group LP.

“Upon completion of the acquisition, we will triple our exposure to the Upper and Middle Eagle Ford trends that have been successfully developed by the Company at Catarina. The Upper and Middle Eagle Ford sections thicken in Southern Dimmit County, where the majority of the acquired leasehold is concentrated. Upon closing the transaction, we believe we will have locked up the core of the trend within the volatile oil window. With the ability to duplicate the cost structure of our Catarina and Maverick operations throughout the Comanche Eagle Ford Asset, we expect to further improve operating efficiencies while enhancing our capability to achieve sustainability of well cost reductions over time.”

The transaction is expected to close in the first quarter of 2017 and details include:

  • Approximately 318,000 gross operated acres in Dimmit and Webb counties
  • Current production of approximately 67,000 Boe/d (70% liquids)
  • Proved reserves of approximately 300 MMBoe (70% liquids, 75% proved developed)
  • Estimated total resource potential of over 1,100 MMBoe
  • Significant near-term, low-risk production growth driven by 132 gross drilled but uncompleted wells
  • More than 4,000 Eagle Ford drilling locations, which provides over 20 years of economic drilling inventory
  • Sanchez Energy will fully fund its 50% of the acquisition through a combination of cash on hand and commercial bank and preferred equity commitments at a newly formed non-recourse subsidiary
  • Blackstone will fund its 50% of the acquisition through a separate entity via equity and commercial bank commitments
  • Anadarko’s sponsored master limited partnership, Western Gas Partners, LP (NYSE: WES), will continue to own and operate its midstream assets in South Texas and is expected to benefit from drilling commitments made by the buyers in conjunction with this transaction

Despite the decline, the Eagle Ford is still a prized space in the industry with many productive years ahead. Researchers from the UT’s Bureau of Economic Geology say that the 400-mile field has seen just a fraction of its ultimate activity and their new study predicts that another 100,000 wells can still be drilled. In October, Venado Oil and Gas, LLC and global investment firm KKR announced that they are joining together to develop assets in the Eagle Ford Shale.

Read more at anadarko.com

Many Oil and Gas Workers Still Unemployed

60% Laid Off Workers Remain Out of Work

Researchers at the University of Houston report that 90% of the oil and gas workers who lost their jobs are still unemployed or have left the industry.

Related: New Eagle Ford Refinery to Bring Jobs 

Since the oil boom turned to bust over two years ago, 100,000 oil and gas industry workers in Texas have lost jobs. In an ongoing study by the University of Houston, researchers polled 720 laid-off workers and found the following:

  • 25% have found work outside of the oil and gas industry
  • More than 60% of them remain out of work
  • 13% of them have found new jobs within the industry
  • More 70 % said they’re nervous about the industry’s future
  • 55 % said they’re considering giving up on the sector entirely
  • 2/3 of them complained about the way their companies’ layoffs were handled
“A good number of people are lost to other industries. Oil and gas impacts just about everything here in all parts of our economy.” – Christiane Spitzmuller, principal investigator with the Center for Applied Psychological Research at the University of Houston

On Tuesday, the Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas forecasts a 2 percent job growth in Texas for 2017 as the state pulls out of the slump. This translates into 242,000 more jobs for Texans.


Fracking Boosts Local Economies

Study Cites $300 a Year benefit for Typical Households
Fracking Benefits Outweigh the Negative

Fracking Benefits Outweigh the Negative

The economic benefits of fracking on local economies still outweigh the more undesirable side effects, according to a new study.

Related: New Eagle Ford Refinery to Bring Jobs

Between 2000 and 2013, the University of Chicago’s Energy Policy Institute conducted a study of the communities near the nation’s most prominent shale formations, including the Eagle Ford Shale in Texas. The study concludes that the economic benefits to citizens during the boom years, overshadowed the negative affects of crime, traffic and pollution.

“This study makes it clear that on net there are benefits to local economies – which we believe is useful information for leaders in the United States and abroad who are deciding whether to allow fracking in their communities.” – Co-author Chris Knittel, Professor at the MIT


Economic Benefits of Fracking to Local Communities

  • The study found that the shale boom produced benefits valued at as much as $1,900 a year for the average household in nearby communities.
  • Income climbed 7 percent
  • 10% employment rate
  • Home prices increased by 6% (20% in ND)
  • Net benefits of around $300 a year for the typical household


Unpleasant Side Effects of Shale Boom

  • Higher crime rates
  • More traffic
  • More pollution
  • General anxiety over the environmental dangers
  • 20% increase in spending for police and public safety.

Read more at epic.uchicago.edu

Eagle Ford Shale Rig Count Continues to Climb

Sitton Blasts EPA for Unnecessary Regulations
Eagle Ford Rigs

Eagle Ford Operators Put Rigs Back Online

The Eagle Ford Shale rig count continues to climb this week, with our data showing 58 rigs running across our coverage area by midday Friday.

In recent Eagle Ford news, Texas Railroad Commissioner Ryan Sitton issued a statement criticizing the recent court decision concerning oil and gas waste disposal.

Read more: Sitton Blasts EPA for Unnecessary Regulations

A total of 664 oil and gas rigs were running across the United States this week, a gain of seven over last week. 135 rigs targeted natural gas (three more than the previous week) and 529 were targeting oil in the U.S. (four more than the previous week). The remainder were drilling service wells (e.g. disposal wells, injection wells, etc.) 327 of the rigs active in the U.S. were running in Texas.

Baker Hughes reports its own Eagle Ford Rig Count that covers the 14 core counties. The rig count published on EagleFordShale.com includes a 30 county area impacted by Eagle Ford development. A full list of the counties included can be found in the table below.

Eagle Ford Oil & Gas Rigs

Nine rigs in the Eagle Ford region targeted natural gas this week with the commodity trading at $3.29/mmbtu.

49 Eagle Ford rigs were targeting oil with WTI oil prices gaining slightly to $53.99. 

A total of 51 rigs are drilling horizontal wells, zero are drilling directional wells and seven are vertical.

Karnes County leads this week with 13 rigs in production. See the full list below in the Eagle Ford Shale Drilling by County below.

Eagle Ford Shale Drilling by County

County Previous Week Current Week County Previous Week Current Week
DIMMIT 4 4 LEE 0 0

Eagle Ford Shale News

SM Energy Sells Eagle Ford Assets

Lucas Energy is Now Camber Energy, Inc

RRC’s Sitton Blasts EPA for Unnecessary Regulations

RRC Assesses $8,651,857 in Fines for 2106


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 Baker Hughes 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.

Read more at bakerhughes.com