Eagle Ford Shale Contends for #1 Spot Among Shale Oil Plays

The Eagle Ford's promising economics are not news to anyone in South Texas, IHS reported promising results from a study the research company has underway. Eagle Ford wells are producing better than the Bakken Shale of North Dakota and Montana.

A typical well in the Eagle Ford averages 300 to 600 barrels-per-day (bpd) in its peak month of production, compared with 150 to 300 bpd for a Bakken well, according to the study.

Current Eagle Ford production is just half that of the Bakken, but the ND shale play had a 10-year head start. A little over 200 rigs are drilling in the Bakken vs. ~250 in the Eagle Ford. It's also worth noting that horizontal laterals are consistently 10,000 ft in the Bakken. That's roughly double the most common lateral length in South Texas. That means the Eagle Ford is out producing the Bakken with as little as half the reservoir contact.

All is good news for South Texas. Companies deploy their capital to the areas of their portfolio that provides the best economic returns. In general, the rank of either oil or gas plays doesn't change dramatically over short periods of time. Commodity prices do, but the Eagle Ford is the top play in the U.S. at both $50 and $100 oil prices. In the absence of a severe recession, Eagle Ford development will boost the South Texas economy for decades to come.

You can read more at reuters.com