ConocoPhillips 3Q Eagle Ford Growth - Truck Constraints and Well Costs

ConocoPhillips announced third quarter earnings yesterday (Oct. 26) and provided several Eagle Ford updates. The company averaged production of 31,000 boe/d with a 77% liquids cut. September production had risen to 36,000 boe/d, but included a loss of 10,000 to 12,000 boe/d related to third party trucking constraints. Without the constraints, production is approaching 50,000 boe/d. Conoco believes they will reach 100,000 boe/d by 2013.

In regards to the constraints:

There was a new trucking facility that was built in Eagle Ford...., but they really didn't move the needle that in terms of increasing capacity. We have talked about building pipeline gathering system, kind of a trunkline to get us to a liquid trading point out of Eagle Ford. We think that will be done the middle of next year. But we've got a lag of 10,000 to 15,000 a day of Eagle Ford that we can't get out just because of constraints.... That will continue until more infrastructure is built up in the area. So I guess it's a good problem to have, to be producing more and these wells to be more productive than what we thought they were, and we are investing in additional infrastructure in that area.

ConocoPhillips current backlog of wells isn't related to completions or fracking, but simply hooking the wells into gathering systems. The company has three dedicated frack crews that have been more than enough to keep up with the rig count. Trucking condensate is the major backlog in bringing wells to production.

The company operated 15 rigs in the quarter and plans to grow its Eagle Ford rig count to 16 by year end.

The average 30-day well rate is still running around 1,400 BOE. We've got -- we've initiated pad drilling. We've got some details on the -- let's say more of an E&P type of approach to Eagle Ford that we could probably run you through, but I don't have EURs or decline rates on Eagle Ford for you.

Well depth is somewhere between 16,000 and 19,000 feet. We're running 3,500 to 5,800 laterals. And on average, about 15 stage fracs. I think well cost that I've seen, drilling and completion are probably in the $6 million to $8 million per well range.

Read the company's press release at