Eagle Ford Region Rig Count Steps Back from Record - 279 Running May 25, 2012

Eagle Ford Rigs May 25 2012
Eagle Ford Rigs May 25 2012

The Eagle Ford Shale drilling rig count stepped back from records the past two weeks to settle at 279 units running. If oil prices remain at $90 or below, it will be interesting to see how operators respond in the coming months. It's common sense, but there is nothing that affects the economics of a well more than the oil price.

This week, we're highlighting Marathon Oil's Eagle Ford position. The company made a splash with the $3.5 billion acquisition Hilcorp Resources last year and recently added acreage through a $750 million acquisition of Paloma Partners. Marathon has added six rigs since the beginning of the year. The company has 6 rigs drilling in Karnes County, 4 in Atascosa, 4 in DeWitt, 2 in Gonzales, 2 in McMullen and one in Live Oak County.

Eagle Ford Oil & Gas Rigs

The natural gas directed rig count (Smithbits) rose to 75 rigs. With 9 gas rigs active in Karnes County, only three counties have more than 10 rigs active - DeWitt, McMullen, and Webb. Henry Hub futures prices lost some of the ground it had recovered. We're trading at $2.53 at lunch on Friday. It's hard to get bullish natural gas at current production levels, but hopefully prices hold at sustainable levels through the summer. The oil price remained relatively flat week over week. WTI is trading at a little less than $91/bbl. It is worth noting that Eagle Ford crude is getting a premium to WTI, so prices over the last week for high quality crude have ranged anywhere from $5-10 better than WTI. During the week, oil directed activity fell to 202 rigs.

252 horizontal rigs are running in the region, with 2 disposal wells being drilled in Atascosa County. Karnes County leads development with 39 rigs and La Salle has 36 rigs. Dimmit (31), McMullen (29), Webb (27), DeWitt (24), Gonzales (20), Atascosa (13), and Live Oak (12) make up the top Eagle Ford counties.

News items this week included:

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Drilling 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.

Drilling Rigs by County