Eagle Ford Shale Regional Rig Count at 270 - August 31, 2012

Oil Drum
Oil Drum

The Eagle Ford Shale drilling rig count grew to 270 as operators added six rigs during the week. In the biggest shift of the week, the oil rig count grew by 14 to 215 active rigs. That's more than 300% growth in the oil rig count since the beginning of 2011. Don't expect that dynamic to change any time soon. Oil prices have come under some pressure, but $96 oil is much more attractive than sub-$3 natural gas.

Eagle Ford Oil & Gas Rigs

The number of natural gas rigs running fell to 52 this week. That's a decline of 13 in the past two weeks alone. Webb County fell out of double digits and Karnes County is the now the only county with more than ten natural gas rigs running. Almost the entire shift in Webb County was due to SM Energy's rigs being reclassified from gas to oil. There are now 215 oil rigs working the region, which surpasses the record of 210 hit twice earlier in the year. One injection well is being drilled in Karnes County. Two disposal wells are being drilled - one in Karnes County and one in Leon County.

Henry Hub futures were trading at ~$2.80 on Friday afternoon. Spot prices and future prices flipped positions from last week as spot prices now trail futures prices at $2.73.

WTI was trading at ~$96/bbl Friday afternoon. We had another week where prices varied quite a bit during the week, but settled flat before the weekend. Eagle Ford crude priced at $102/bbl on August 31st and light crude and condensate traded at $93 and $92, respectively.

There are 252 horizontal rigs running in the region. The three counties leading development are Karnes with 43 rigs, La Salle with 34 and McMullen with 31. Dimmit (30), Webb (23), Gonzales (20), DeWitt (19),  Frio (10), and Live Oak (11) round out 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