Eagle Ford Rig Count at 274 | Oct 12, 2012

Smith Bits Spear PDC Bit
Smith Bits Spear PDC Bit

Eagle Ford Shale drilling settled at 274 rigs running over the past week. Natural gas prices held above $3 for the second week in a row. That's a good sign for operators, but not enough of an increase to alter plans for 2013. We've mentioned the potential in the natural gas window of the Eagle Ford before. A sharp increase in prices could motivate even more drilling in the area, but it doesn't look like prices are going to rise fast enough to change capital budgets for 2013. Most companies are planning their capital budgets for next year right now and $3.30 isn't enough incentive for operators to make big changes in how capital dollars are spent. Expect even more companies to announce activity shifting to oily areas of plays like the Eagle Ford.

On a technical note, Schlumberger's Smith Bits released its second generation spear PDC bit. The bit is cased in steel and set an Eagle Ford Rate of Penetration Drilling Record of 79 feet per hour during testing. The bit allows operators to drill horizontal laterals in one pipe trip.

Eagle Ford Oil & Gas Rigs - New Oil Rig Count Record 217

The natural gas rig count in the area hit a new Eagle Ford era low this week with just 38 rigs running. The record low is 75% lower than the peak of 120+ gas rigs that were running in the area just a year ago.

As you might expect, the record low in gas rigs mean rigs moved to oil prospects and we hit a new record of 235 rigs in the region.  It is worth reiterating again this week.  Over 130 oil rigs have been added in the region since June of 2011.

Just one service well is currently being drilled and it is a water well in Bastrop County.

Henry Hub futures were up again week over week to $3.58 on Friday. Spot prices were almost unchanged at $3.28.

WTI was up almost two dollars on the week, trading at ~$92/bbl Friday. Eagle Ford crude priced at $100.93/bbl on the 11th of October. Light crude and condensate in the area traded at $88.50 and $87.50, respectively.

There are 259 horizontal rigs running in the region. La Salle County still leads development with 39 rigs running. Karnes with 37 rigs, McMullen (26), Dimmit (25), Webb (25), Gonzales (22), DeWitt (19), Atascosa (14), Frio (10), and Live Oak (10) round out the top Eagle Ford counties.

News items this week included:

Devorah Fox also contributed an article titled Tied Down Cargo and Load Securement.

Be sure to visit our South Texas Oilfield Job Listings to search openings and come back weekly for updates.

Eagle Ford Rig Count by Operator

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.

Eagle Ford Shale Drilling by County