Eagle Ford Shale News

Some Eagle Ford Schools Fighting to Survive

Dramatic Budget Cuts on The Heels of Shale Bust
Eagle Ford Schools Face Budget Cuts

Eagle Ford Schools Face Budget Cuts

The shale bust has slowed the river of money that Eagle Ford school districts had come to rely on, with some wondering how they will survive.

Related: Eagle Ford School Districts Give Back Millions

During the height of the shale boom, the drilling frenzy brought $1.5 billion in property tax revenue for local Eagle Ford schools and another $676 million for the Permanent School Fund. But as the oil and gas activity dried up, so did the tax revenues that fund local school districts.

The bust now threatens to be a serious financial blow to many districts. For the upcoming 2016-2017 school year, some are facing serious deficits and others will delay pay raises and hiring in order to juggle their budgets.

One worst-case scenario is the Cuero School District located in DeWitt County, where property values will likely drop 35 percent this year. This decrease will force the district to slash its budget by as much as 22 percent.

Cuero interim schools superintendent Ben Colwell told the Texas Tribune that the situation is “More or less a disaster. In two, three years, you are basically bankrupt,” he said. “People don’t realize what a catastrophic thing this is going to be for schools.”

School districts located in the Eagle Ford are facing a double whammy because many have to actually pay back state funds, at a time when they can least afford to do so.

Texas public school financing policies state that districts that are designated as ‘property wealthy’ must give back some or all of the state funds they received in the prior fiscal year. This means that the districts that enjoyed additional funds due to the boom, must now give that money back at a time when their revenues are shrinking due to the downturn.

EIA: Natural Gas Consumption on the Rise

U.S. Will Become Net Exporter through 2017
EIA: Natural Gas Consumption | click to enlarge

EIA: Natural Gas Consumption

Natural gas consumption will continue to rise through 2017, providing more opportunities for Eagle Ford midstream operations.

Related: Eagle Ford Gas Heads to Mexico in $3.6 Billion Pipeline Deal

In their latest report, the U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA) projects that the United States will become a net exporter of natural gas by late 2017. Analysts expect production to rise through 2016 and 2017 in response to forecast price increases and increases in liquefied natural gas (LNG) exports. Other EIA forecasts include:

  • U.S. total natural gas consumption averages 76.5 Bcf/d in 2016 and 77.7 Bcf/d in 2017, compared with 75.3 Bcf/d in 2015.
  • Electric power sector use of natural gas increases by 4.9% in 2016 and will decline by 1.4% in 2017
  • Industrial sector consumption of natural gas increases by 2.7% in 2016 and by 1.5% in 2017

Exports will play a big part in the surge of consumption, The report predicts LNG exports will rise to an average of 0.5 Bcf/d in 2016 and 1.3 Bcf/d in 2017.

EIA: “Natural gas pipeline exports to Mexico have risen this year, and EIA expects that growth to continue because of growing demand from Mexico’s electric power sector and because of flat natural gas production in Mexico. Gross pipeline exports are expected to increase by 0.7 Bcf/d in 2016 before falling by 0.2 Bcf/d in 2017 to an average of 5.3 Bcf/d.”

Eagle Ford midstream companies are looking to prosper as natural gas exports overtake imports over the next 16 months. TransCanada and Spectra Energy are two producers who will receive $3.6 billion in contracts from Mexico’s state-owned Federal Electricity Commission to build 665 miles of pipelines to carry natural gas.

Other Eagle Ford companies uniquely positioned to take advantage of these markets in the coming months include:

  1. Howard Energy Partners: With acreage in Webb County, Howard plans to build a 200-mile pipeline to deliver 600 million cubic feet of natural gas per day to Mexico
  2. Lewis Energy: A top producer with positions inLa Salle, Webb and Dimmit Counties.
  3. Energy Transfer Partners: ETP already has natural gas export capabilities in Webb County and the Rio Grande Valley.
  4. Sanchez Energy: With tens of thousands of acres in the natural gas-rich lands of La Salle, Dimmit and Webb Counties, Sanchez entered a joint venture worth$115 million to bridge connections to Mexico.
  5. Flint Hills Resources: Has petitioned the federal government to ship LNG oversees.

Read more at eia.gov

Eagle Ford Companies Struggle as Bankruptcies Soar

C&J Energy Services & Atlas Resource Partners
Eagle Ford Operators Struggle

Eagle Ford Operators Struggle

Two more Eagle Ford companies are showing signs of trouble as Texas oil and gas bankruptcies skyrocket.

Related: Texas Oil & Gas Bankruptcies Lead Pack

During the past week, C&J Energy Services and Atlas Resource Partners have joined the ranks of Eagle Ford companies who are trying to stay afloat.

C&J announced it would convert $1.4 billion of its debt into new common equity shares as part of its chapter 11 restructuring.

Chief Executive Officer and Chief Operating Officer Don Gawick commented, “We are pleased to enter into this Restructuring Support Agreement, which is a significant step forward in our ongoing efforts to deliver our capital structure, strengthen our business and respond proactively to the challenging market environment. After a thorough evaluation of our options, we are confident that we have reached a deal that is highly advantageous for C&J and will provide solid financial footing to enable us to capitalize on future opportunities as the commodity pricing environment begins to recover.”

Atlas Resource Partners was delisted from the New York Stock Exchange after missing a debt payment. The company annoucned it was having cash flow problems and will now be traded on a securities exchange run by the New York-based OTC Markets Group (OTCQX). Atlas currently has 22 producing wells in Atascosa County, Texas.

Texas has been hit specifically hard with industry bankruptcies. According to the law firm of Haynes and Boone, more that half (25) of the 2016 filing being initiated in Texas courts. The combined total Texas bankruptcy filings for 2015-16 is 43, representing approximately $29 billion in cumulative debt.

Eagle Ford Operators Put Rigs Back Online

Rig Count Inching up Across the U.S.


Eagle Ford Rigs

Eagle Ford Operators Put Rigs Back Online

The Eagle Ford Shale rig count gained two this week with 36 rigs running across our coverage area by midday Friday.

In recent Eagle Ford news, a recent report shows that Texas has been hit specifically hard with oil and gas bankruptcies, with more that half (25) of the 2016 filing being initiated in Texas courts. The combined total Texas bankruptcy filings for 2015-16 is 43, representing approximately $29 billion in cumulative debt.

Read more:Texas Oil & Gas Bankruptcies Lead Pack

A total of 446 oil and gas rigs were running across the United States this week, up seven over last week. 89 were targeting natural gas (one more than the previous week) and 357 were targeting oil in the U.S. (six more than the previous week). The remainder were drilling service wells (e.g. disposal wells, injection wells, etc.) 202 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

There are six natural gas rigs running across the Eagle Ford, wth natural gas prices dipping this week to $2.76/mmbtu.

The Eagle Ford rigs targeting oil increased at 30 with WTI oil prices rising to $45.95a $.71 increase this week. A total of 32 rigs are drilling horizontal wells, one is drilling directional wells, and three is vertical.

Karnes County leads development in the region gaining two to 10 rigs running this week. 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
WEBB 5 5 DUVAL 0 0
DE WITT 2 2 FRIO 1 0

Eagle Ford Shale News

David Porter: Obama a ‘Mouthpiece for Propaganda’

Texas Oil & Gas Bankruptcies Lead Pack

Abraxas to Drill in Atascosa County

Energy Hunter Resources Moves into Karnes County

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

Energy Hunter Resources Moves into Karnes County

Company Could Begin Drilling on 500 Acres in 2017
Energy Hunter Resources Acquires Eagle Ford Assets

Energy Hunter Resources Acquires Eagle Ford Assets

Dallas-based Energy Hunter Resources has acquired Eagle Ford assets in Karnes County.


In a press release this morning, Energy Hunter Resources announced completion of a private placement of its common stock worth approximately $3.15 million. The company used a portion of the proceeds to purchase two separate lease blocks in the Eagle Ford.

The deal includes approximately 500 net acres located along the Karnes Condensate Trend in Karnes County, Texas. At this time, the company has made no drilling commitments on this acreage, but indicated the prospect for drilling in Eagle Ford Shale and the Austin Chalk in 2017. The company estimates that 14 wells can be drilled in the lower Eagle Ford formation between the two prospects, as well as an additional 10 wells in the upper Eagle Ford.

Gary C. Evans, Chairman and CEO, commented, “For more than 30 years, members of the new Energy Hunter team and I have worked in and around many of these fields. We therefore used our knowledge and experience in these fields and allocated a portion of the proceeds from the private placement to acquire two lease acreage blocks in the heart of the Eagle Ford shale in Karnes County, Texas. We will continue to explore and analyze similar opportunities and provide updates as we begin development of our new acreage position in the Eagle Ford Shale.”

Highlights of the deal include:

  • Completed private placement of 3,150,000 shares issued at a subscription price of $1.00 per share
  • Private placement oversubscribed by approximately 25 percent
  • Total gross proceeds of approximately $3.15 million
  • Acquired two acreage lease blocks totaling approximately 500 net acres located in the heart of the Eagle Ford shale in Karnes County, Texas along the Karnes Condensate Trend
  • Combined recoverable reserves estimated at 16 MMBOE
  • Total estimated ultimate recoveries range between 400 MBOE and 620 MBOE per well
  • At current strip pricing, adjacent wells have reached payout in less than one year with ROI’s greater than 80 percent

Read full press release at energyhunter.com

Abraxas to Drill in Atascosa County

Company Spuds First Well in Austin Chalk
Abraxas in Atascosa

Abraxas to Drill in Austin Chalk

Abraxas is moving forward to drill in the Austin Chalk without joint venture partnership.

Related: Abraxas: No Activity in the Eagle Ford 

Abraxas Petroleum Corporation announced last week it has begun the process to drill their first well that targets the Austin Chalk at Jourdanton in Atascosa County. The company spudded Bulls Eye 101H on June 16 and estimates that the well will be producing by September 2016. Executives estimate that the drilling and completion costs for this first well will be around $5.8 million, which Abraxas will shoulder alone after terminating talks for a potential joint venture on this project.

Bob Watson, President and CEO of Abraxas, commented, “Although we are disappointed we could not come to an agreement with this potential partner in a timely manner, drilling this well on our own will give our shareholders more upside exposure compared to the reduced working interest in the joint venture.”

Abraxas also announced it is increasing its 2016 capital expenditure budget from $25 million to between $30 million and $40 million. All of this new activity is on the heels of a change in company leadership as Lee T. Billingsley, Abraxas’ Vice President of Exploration, resigned his position at the beginning of the month.

Read more at AbraxasPetroleum.com