Eagle Ford Shale News

Texas Oil Production Hits 2.16 Million – June 2014

Five of the Top Ten Oil Producing Texas Counties in June Were in the Eagle Ford
Pump Jack Image

Oil Well Pump Jack

This week, the Texas Railroad Commission (RRC) reported state-wide crude oil production of 2.16-million b/d in June, 2014. That’s less than a 1% increase from the previous month, but 29% from the same time in 2013.

Most of the state’s oil production in June came from the Eagle Ford Shale and West Texas’ Permian Basin. The U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA) predicts the Eagle Ford Shale will produce 1.51-million b/d crude oil in Sept., 2014. That’s an increase of ~31,000b/d over August’s expected production (1.48-million b/d).

Read more: EIA: Eagle Ford Oil Production Will Hit 1.5-Million b/d – Sept. 2014

Five of the top ten oil producing counties were in the Eagle Ford, and four of those led state-wide production by county for the month:

  • Karnes – 204,500 b/d
  • La Salle – 155,283 b/d
  • De Witt – 140,323 b/d
  • Gonzales – 110,598 b/d

Drilling Permits Issued in Texas

Drilling state-wide continues to grow. The RRC issued 2,419 state-wide drilling permits in July, which was an 11% increase from the previous month. Approximately 91% of permits issued in June were for new oil and gas wells. The highest number of permits issued by RRC district was in the San Antonio area (377 permits).

Across the state, natural gas production was also on the rise in June. Texas produced 603 million Mcf of gas during the month, which represents a 9% increase from the same time last year.

Read more at rrc.state.tx.us

Conoco’s Eagle Ford Assets Help Grow Lower 48 Liquids Production 22%

Eagle Ford Condensate Exports Tabled For Now
Conoco Phillips Ealge Ford Acreage Map

Conoco Phillips Ealge Ford Acreage Map

Liquids production volumes from Conoco Phillips’ (COP) Lower 48 assets increased by 22% year-over-year thanks largely to the Eagle Ford and the Bakken, company officials reported in their second quarter 2014 report at the end of July.

COP production grew by 38% year-over-year to 208,000 boe/d in the Eagle Ford Shale and Bakken Shale plays combined. That’s ~39% of the company’s total production for its Lower 48 asset portfolio. In the Eagle Ford alone, production grew 12% quarter-on-quarter from 140,000 boe/d to 157,000 boe/d. However, company officials expect for the rate of growth to slow in both plays in the second half of the year due to multi-pad drilling effects and weather-related issues in the fourth quarter.

Read more: Conoco Phillips’ Eagle Ford Production Up 58% to 141,000 boe/d in Q4 2013

Conoco’s EVP, Exploration and Production Matt Fox, said, “we expect to have multi pad drilling effects and are anticipating winter weather impacts in the fourth quarter. So the rate of growth will slow in the second half of the year. The net effect of this is we are still on track to achieve our 2014 volume targets for both the Eagle Ford and Bakken but we do expect rates to flatten in third and fourth quarters and then begin to ramp up as we head in to 2015.”

Conoco Doesn’t Have Plans to Apply for Permit to Export Eagle Ford Condensate

Despite advocating for condensate and crude oil exports, COP management indicated in the company’s second quarter conference call on July 31st that it would not apply with the U.S. Commerce Department (U.S. DoC) for a permit to export Eagle Ford condensate.

Recently, the U.S. Commerce Department granted permission to certain companies to export minimally processed Eagle Ford condensate, which it considers a refined product. The oil export ban, which has been in place for nearly forty years does not limit the export of refined products. Just last week, BHP Billiton, a major Eagle Ford producer, applied with the U.S. DoC for an export permit.

Read more: Eagle Ford’s BHP Billiton Seeks to Export Condensate

CEO Ryan Lance, said, “the larger issue we are having in North America is growing light oil production and the feasibility or the capacity being used up in the refining sector to really absorb. Right now we’re getting most of our condensate to the Gulf Coast putting it on ships and getting it around.”

Lance continued, saying if the company saw an advantage to applying for a similar permit to those recently issued for minimally processed condensate, it would approach the U.S. DoC.

Read more at conocophillips.com

Eagle Ford Shale Rig Count Decreases by One to 260

BHP Billiton May Soon Get Green Light to Export Eagle Ford Condensate
Pioneer Central Gathering Plant

Pioneer Central Gathering Plant | Click to Enlarge

The Eagle Ford Shale rig count decreased by one to 260 rigs running across our coverage area by the end of last week.

In recent news, Houston-based BHP Billiton may soon get the green light to export condensate from the Eagle Ford Shale. According to the Houston Chronicle, BHP President Rod Skaufel confirmed the company has applied for an export permit with the U.S. Commerce Department (US DoC).

Read more: Eagle Ford’s BHP Billiton Seeks to Export Condensate

The U.S. rig count decreased by 17 to 1,896 rigs running by the end of last week. A total of 330 rigs were targeting natural gas (nine more than the previous week) and 1,564 were targeting oil in the U.S. (25 less than the previous week). The remainder were drilling service wells (e.g. disposal wells, injection wells, etc.).  888 or ~48% of rigs active in the U.S. were running in Texas.

Baker Hughes rig count is quoted here. Baker Hughes also releases its own Eagle Ford Rig Count that covers the 14 core counties (200 rigs). 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 near the bottom of this article.

Eagle Ford Oil & Gas Rigs

The natural gas rig count increased by three to 13 rigs running by the end of last week. Average rig counts for natural gas production in 2012 were around 80 and then dropped to around 40 in 2013. Natural gas prices increased slightly from the previous week to $3.85/mmbtu on Friday afternoon.

The oil rig count decreased by four to 247 rigs running by the end of last week. WTI oil prices stayed relatively flat from the previous week, trading at $93.57/bbl on Friday afternoon. Eagle Ford light crude traded at $90.50/bbl on August 21st.

A total of 247 rigs are drilling horizontal wells, four rigs are drilling directional wells, and nine rigs are drilling vertical wells. Karnes, La Salle, De Witt, and Webb each have at minimum 25 rigs running. Karnes County has the highest rig count this week at 33. See the full list below in the Eagle Ford Shale Drilling by County below

South Texas Oil & Gas News:

Be sure to visit our South Texas Oilfield Job Listings to search openings and come back weekly for updates or sign up for alerts - Daily or Weekly Email Alerts

Eagle Ford Shale Drilling by Count


County Previous Week Current Week County Previous Week Current Week
KARNES 34 33 FRIO 5 3
LA SALLE 31 31 LEE 3 3
WEBB 27 27 LEON 3 3
DE WITT 26 25 DUVAL 0 2
DIMMIT 20 22 GRIMES 2 2
MCMULLEN 19 20 ROBERTSON 2 2
ATASCOSA 13 13 COLORADO 2 1
BRAZOS 13 13 WASHINGTON 1 1
GONZALES 13 12 WILSON 0 1
MADISON 13 12 AUSTIN 0 0
LAVACA 12 10 BEE 0 0
LIVE OAK 7 8 GOLIAD 0 0
BURLESON 7 7 MAVERICK 0 0
ZAVALA 4 5 MILAM 0 0
FAYETTE 4 4 BASTROP 0 0

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.

Eagle Ford Flaring Impact on South Texas – Video

SA Express: La Salle County Flared 1/5 of Natural Gas Production Between 2009 - 12

Since the Eagle Ford oil boom began in 2009, the prolific development of the liquids-rich shale formation has put Texas in an enviable position on the world-stage as a top oil producer. As with any boom, there have been positives and negatives associated with development. This week, the San Antonio Express News published an investigative report highlighting one of the negatives – the flaring of natural gas.

As companies have aggressively developed the Eagle Ford Shale to benefit from the current high price of oil, natural gas, a lower priced commodity, has been flared in the process. A lack of natural gas pipeline infrastructure in some areas has also contributed to flaring. Federal rules implemented in 2011 that require greenhouse gas permits for things like compressor stations and processing plants have likely tied up pipeline projects that would’ve otherwise been implemented. Still, pipeline companies, which generally conduct an open season prior to beginning construction on a project, have had trouble getting enough commitments for natural gas pipelines in other oily plays like the Bakken Shale in North Dakota, which is the second most significant U.S. domestic shale play to the Eagle Ford. The Bakken Shale currently flares nearly 30% of its natural gas.

Read more: MDU Resources’ Natural Gas “Dakota Pipeline” Update – March 2014

According to the paper, oil producers flared and vented 32.7 billion cubic feet (Bcf) of casinghead gas from 2009 to 2012. That’s nearly 8% of all casinghead gas produced in the region, and 10 times higher than the flaring rate in the rest of Texas. During the same time frame, La Salle County, a top producer in the play, flared or vented about a fifth of its production — more than 10 million cubic feet (MMcf). At oil wells in Atascosa and Frio Counties, energy firms flared a quarter of the 17 Bcf of casinghead gas they produced. Companies operating in Wilson County produced nearly 1.4 Bcf of gas from oil wells, but flared or vented more than a third of it.

The question is could flaring be affecting health and quality of life. For some South Texas residents, there’s no question – Yes! The paper revealed that an estimated 15,000 tons of volatile organic compounds and other contaminants were released into the air in 2012 from flaring.

Watch the video below for first-hand accounts about the impact of flaring on South Texas:

 

Pioneer Addresses Eagle Ford Exports in Q2 2014 Report

Record Eagle Ford Production Recorded in Q2
Pioneer Central Gathering Plant

Pioneer Central Gathering Plant | Click to Enlarge

Recently, the U.S. Commerce Department (U.S. DoC) granted Pioneer Natural Resources Co. and Enterprise Product Partners LP permission to export minimally processed Eagle Ford condensate. According to Pioneer officials, the U.S. DoC confirmed that condensate processed at Pioneer’s Eagle Ford Shale central gathering plants in South Texas is a petroleum product that can be exported without a license.

The news in June 2014 that Pioneer was granted permission to export condensate made headlines and sparked a debate about the oil export ban, which has been in place for nearly forty years. Earlier this week, Eagle Ford Operator BHP Billiton confirmed it had applied for an export permit with the U.S. DoC.

Read more: Eagle Ford’s BHP Billiton Seeks to Export Condensate

It shouldn’t come as a huge surprise, but Pioneer is looking to Asian markets to sell its processed Eagle Ford condensate. According to the Energy Information Administration (EIA), Asia surpassed North America as the largest petroleum-consuming region in 2008, with demand increasing 146% (15 million b/d) from 1980 to 2010.

Pioneer CEO Scott Sheffield, said, “we are pleased that the U.S. Department of Commerce has recently confirmed that Pioneer may begin exporting processed condensate from the Eagle Ford Shale. Our first cargo was shipped in late July and monthly shipments are expected through the end of this year at prices higher than domestic condensate sales. International interest for our processed Eagle Ford Shale condensate is growing, particularly from Asian petrochemical companies.”

Pioneer Eagle Ford Q2 2014 Production and Operations Update

During the second quarter, Pioneer had record average Eagle Ford production of 47,000 boe/d. Thirty-one wells were placed on production during the quarter.

For 2014, the company expects to place approximately 125 liquids-rich wells on production in the Eagle Ford Shale (63 wells in the first half of 2014 and 62 wells in the second half). Company officials say most of these wells will be drilled utilizing three-well and four-well pads. The 2014 program reflects longer lateral lengths and larger fracture stimulations compared to 2013. Full-year production is forecasted to range from 46,000 boe/d to 49,000 boe/d, an increase of 22% to 30%, compared to 2013.

Read more at pxd.com

Murphy Hits Record Eagle Ford Production in Q2 2014

Upper Eagle Ford Tests Could Boost Drilling Inventory
Murphy Eagle Ford Acreage

Murphy Eagle Ford Acreage | Click to Enlarge

Murphy Oil Corp.’s second-quarter Eagle Ford production hit a new company record of 52,184 boe/d, with a 90% liquids cut. That’s up about 6% from the previous quarter and 33% year-over-year. Murphy expects to surpass 60,000 boe/d in 2015. At current rates, the company should realize its anticipated production target in the first or second quarter of next year.

Portfolio-wide, the company averaged total production of 210,191 boe/d, which is about 3% less than anticipated for the quarter. The shortfall was attributed to Murphy’s operational delays relating to its offshore business in Malaysia.

Read more: Murphy’s Eagle Ford Production Grows to 39,000 boe/d in 2013

In the Eagle Ford Shale, 53 new wells were brought on line during the quarter. That’s up from 44 wells in the first quarter of 2014.

The company is currently operating eight drilling rigs and four completions across the play. Murphy expects to bring on a total of 200 wells (including non-operated locations) in 2014.

Murphy’s Upper Eagle Ford Tests Could Boost Drilling Inventory

According to company officials, further testing for upside potential in the Upper Eagle Ford Shale zone is expected, which could yield 600 additional well locations, beyond the 1,500 locations remaining to be drilled in the Lower Eagle Ford Shale. Murphy officials also indicate downspacing efforts across the Eagle Ford continue to deliver positive results. At the company’s current pace, officials expect 10 + years of drilling.

Furthermore, Murphy is in the process of conducting negotiations for two separate pipeline arrangements in its Karnes and Tilden areas of the play to transport up to 28,000 b/d oil net to market. The company hopes to reduce trucking operations and improve overall reliability.

Read more at murphyoilcorp.com

Eagle Ford’s BHP Billiton Seeks to Export Condensate

First Minimally Processed Eagle Ford Condensate Exports Began in Late July 2014
Petrohawk Eagle Ford Shale Map

Hawkville Seen Here Extends into Webb County | Click to Enlarge

Houston-based BHP Billiton may soon get the green light to export condensate from the Eagle Ford Shale.

According to the Houston Chronicle, BHP President Rod Skaufel confirmed the company has applied for an export permit with the U.S. Commerce Department (US DoC).

Read more: Oil Exports to Foreign Buyers Begins

In June 2014, Pioneer Natural Resources Co. and Enterprise Product Partners LP were granted permission by the US DoC in a private ruling to export minimally processed Eagle Ford condensate. In late July 2014, the first exports began.

The US DoC’s ruling in June 2014 was the first sign the United State’s oil export ban, which has been in place for nearly 40-years, could be subject to change. Following the Arab oil embargo of the early 70s, in 1975, President Gerald Ford signed into law the Energy Policy and Conservation Act, which in effect bans most U.S. oil exports (refined products are not included in the ban). The minimally processed condensate currently being exported by Pioneer and Enterprise is considered a refined product by the US DoC.

With the U.S. slated to become the top oil producing country in the world by 2015, according to the International Energy Agency (IEA), the necessity of the ban is puzzling to some, but still viable to others. In recent months, there’s been a push from industry leaders for the federal government to relax and even lift the ban, including Continental Resources CEO Harold Hamm. Continental Resources is the second largest producer in the Bakken Shale in North Dakota, which also produces light oil and condensate.

BHP Billiton Eagle Ford Position in Condensate Window

Due to its position in the play, among other factors, the company is in an attractive position for exporting condensate should it get the go-ahead from the US DoC.

“Our position in the Eagle Ford is right in the heart of the condensate window, and the economics of the wells average a 70% rate of return,” said Skaufel, in an interview for Unconventional Oil & Gas Report.

BHP plans to spend $3-billion of its $3.9 billion budget for onshore U.S. in the Eagle Ford in 2014. The company entered the Eagle Ford Shale in 2011, with the acquisition of Petrohawk for ~$12-billion.

Read more: BHP – Petrohawk Deal Brings Australia to the Eagle Ford 

Read more at chron.com and ogj.com

Eagle Ford Shale Rig Count Decreases by Five to 261

EIA: Eagle Ford Shale Expected to Produce 1.51-Million b/d Crude Oil in Sept. 2014
EIA Eagle Ford Production

EIA Eagle Ford Production | Click to Enlarge

The Eagle Ford Shale rig count decreased by five to 261 rigs running across our coverage area by the end of last week.

In recent news, The U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA) predicts the Eagle Ford Shale will produce 1.51-million b/d crude oil in September 2014. That’s an increase of ~31,000b/d over August’s expected production (1.48-million b/d), according to the EIA’s monthly Drilling Productivity Report released this week.

Read moreEIA: Eagle Ford Oil Production Will Hit 1.5-Million b/d – Sept. 2014

The U.S. rig count increased by five to 1,913 rigs running by the end of last week. A total of 321 rigs were targeting natural gas (five more than the previous week) and 1,589 were targeting oil in the U.S. (one more than the previous week). The remainder were drilling service wells (e.g. disposal wells, injection wells, etc.).  901 or ~48% of rigs active in the U.S. were running in Texas.

Baker Hughes rig count is quoted here. Baker Hughes also releases its own Eagle Ford Rig Count that covers the 14 core counties (199 rigs). 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 near the bottom of this article.

Eagle Ford Oil & Gas Rigs

The natural gas rig count increased by one to ten rigs running by the end of last week. Average rig counts for natural gas production in 2012 were around 80 and then dropped to around 40 in 2013. Natural gas prices decreased slightly from the previous week to $3.77/mmbtu on Friday afternoon.

The oil rig count decreased by six to 251 rigs running by the end of last week. WTI oil prices stayed relatively flat from the previous week, trading at $97.09/bbl on Friday afternoon. Eagle Ford light crude traded at $92.00/bbl on August 14th.

A total of 247 rigs are drilling horizontal wells, four rigs are drilling directional wells, and ten rigs are drilling vertical wells. Karnes, La Salle, De Witt, and Webb each have at minimum 25 rigs running. Karnes County has the highest rig count this week at 34. See the full list below in the Eagle Ford Shale Drilling by County below

South Texas Oil & Gas News:

Be sure to visit our South Texas Oilfield Job Listings to search openings and come back weekly for updates or sign up for alerts - Daily or Weekly Email Alerts

Eagle Ford Shale Drilling by Count


County Previous Week Current Week County Previous Week Current Week
KARNES 32 34 ZAVALA 4 4
LA SALLE 31 31 LEE 3 3
WEBB 27 27 LEON 3 3
DE WITT 29 26 COLORADO 2 2
DIMMIT 20 20 GRIMES 2 2
MCMULLEN 19 19 ROBERTSON 2 2
ATASCOSA 13 13 WASHINGTON 1 1
BRAZOS 13 13 AUSTIN 0 0
GONZALES 13 13 BEE 0 0
MADISON 15 13 DUVAL 0 0
LAVACA 13 12 GOLIAD 0 0
BURLESON 7 7 MAVERICK 0 0
LIVE OAK 7 7 MILAM 0 0
FRIO 5 5 WILSON 1 0
FAYETTE 4 4 BASTROP 0 0

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.

Texas American Resources, LLC Exits Eagle Ford

$135-Million Deal Includes 55,000 Net Eagle Ford Acres
Texas American Resources Eagle Ford Area Map

Texas American Resources Eagle Ford Area Map | Click to Enlarge

Austin, Texas-based Texas American Resources, LLC exits the Eagle Ford Shale this month, with the sale of its South Texas assets in Dimmit, Frio, La Salle, and Zavala Counties. The company will now shift its operational focus to its remaining assets in the Texas Panhandle.

Texas American Resources announced the closing of the $135-million deal this week to an undisclosed buyer. Included in the sale are the company’s existing production, proved reserves, and Eagle Ford and Austin Chalk oil development opportunities across 55,000 net Eagle Ford acres.

Texas American Resources CEO David Honeycutt, said, “we are pleased with our outcome in South Texas. The sale is accretive to both the buyer and seller. There are many remaining opportunities in our legacy South Texas portfolio and our buyer sees and embraces the upside the assets offer.”

Proceeds from the sale will be used to repay debt, and accelerate development of the Texas Panhandle assets.

Read more at texasarc.com

EIA: Eagle Ford Oil Production Will Hit 1.5-Million b/d – Sept. 2014

Up ~31,000 b/d Over Aug. 2014
EIA Eagle Ford Production

EIA Eagle Ford Production | Click to Enlarge

The U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA) predicts the Eagle Ford Shale will produce 1.51-million b/d crude oil in September 2014. That’s an increase of ~31,000 b/d over August’s expected production (1.48-million b/d), according to the EIA’s monthly Drilling Productivity Report released this week.

In May, 2013, the Eagle Ford hit the 1-million b/d mark for total liquids production, and in August 2013, exceeded the 1-million b/d crude oil mark. Since 2011, when development of the play began ramping up, production has more than quadrupled.

Most research organizations predict Eagle Ford area production will reach between 1.6 and 2-million b/d sometime between 2017 and 2020. Among a number of factors, recent results from operators in the Eagle Ford’s overlaying Austin Chalk have yielded positive results, and may help push the time-frame up quicker for hitting the 2-million b/d mark.

Read more: Is the Eagle Ford on its Way to 2 Million Barrels Per Day of Oil Production

In April 2014, Texas’ state-wide production surpassed the 3-million b/d crude oil mark, thanks to the Eagle Ford  Shale and increased production in West Texas’ Permian Basin. North Dakota, which encompasses the prolific Bakken Shale play, and Texas combined produced nearly half of all U.S. oil production during the same month. By 2015, the U.S. is predicted to become the top oil producer in the world, according to the International Energy Agency (IEA).

Read more: Texas Oil Production Reaches Levels Not Seen Since the 70′s

The EIA predicts U.S. shale plays are expected to produce 4.87-million b/d in September 2014. That’s up from 4.77-million b/d in August 2014.

See the full report at eia.gov

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