Billions of Barrels Still Available in the Eagle Ford

Eagle Ford Holds Billions of Barrels of Oil

Eagle Ford Holds Billions of Barrels of Oil

New research from the University of Texas reveals there are still billions of barrels waiting to be drilled in the Eagle Ford.

Related: Eagle Ford Drilling & Completion Report

On the heels of the Eagle Ford’s lowest drilling activity since 2012, researchers from the UT’s Bureau of Economic Geology released new and unpublished research this week that shows companies could potentially recover 10 billion barrels of oil at today’s prices.

The university has conducted a broad study of shale gas production and reserves in the Eagle Ford Shale Play and the Bakken formation in North Dakota that analyzes energy prices, the cost of drilling and completing a well and the impact of regulations. The full results will be published in various peer-reviewed papers over the next six months.

Scientists were on hand at the recent DUG Conference in San Antonio to share some of their findings related to the potential of the Eagle Ford.

Scott Tinker, bureau director, and economist Svetlana Ikonnikova, shared that the 400-mile South Texas field has seen just a fraction of its ultimate activity. UT expects 100,000 wells in the Eagle Ford, far more than the 17,000 wells have been drilled so far, according to the Railroad Commission of Texas.

Other study highlights for the Eagle Ford:

  • The play holds an estimated 230 billion barrels of oil (only 10 billion can be recovered now)
  • The play has an estimated 462 trillion cubic feet of natural gas, with 34 trillion cubic feet recoverable.
  • At least 80,000 more wells will be drilled

Currently, activity in the Eagle Ford has slowed. The Texas Railroad Commission (RRC) reported this week that from January-August, they issued 4,830 original drilling permits throughout the state of Texas. 642 of those permits are for operations in the Eagle Ford Shale. Eight months into the year and the numbers don’t look good. If the trend continues, the Eagle Ford will have fewer permits issued by the end of the year since before 2010.