Gulf Coast Western Planning Horizontal Buda Wells in Wilson County

Gulf Coast Western Logo
Gulf Coast Western Logo

Gulf Coast Western announced in the acquisition of 3,500 acres in Wilson County, Texas.

The company will bypass expensive completions in the Eagle Ford with plans to drill 10 horizontal wells targeting the Buda Limestone.

As more wells are drilled in South Texas, operators will find opportunity in other formations. It will be interesting to see how development programs in plays like the Austin Chalk and Buda perform.

Read moreGoodrich Petroleum Buda Limestone Well Yields Impressive Results

We believe there is tremendous opportunity in this play, given the fact that it is a proven trend and there is not a need to incur the high cost of fractionating (fracking) the wells.
— Gulf Coast Western CEO, Matthew Fleeger

Gulf Coast Western anticipates its horizontal drilling operations to begin in the first quarter of the year, with development extending on the company's leases throughout 2014. Wells in the area have produced as much as 1,500 b/d of oil.

The primary operator for these projects will be Kaler Energy Corporation out of San Antonio.

Is the Eagle Ford on Its Way to 2 Million Barrels Per Day of Oil Production?

Eagle Ford Production
Eagle Ford Production

Eagle Ford Production has outpaced expectations for five years and it should be no surprise if the area eventually produces more than 2 million barrels of oil per day.

It's hard to comprehend the full context of the previous statement, so let me state it another way. If the Eagle Ford eventually produces between two and three million barrels of oil per day, the play by itself could land in the list of the top 10 oil producing countries in the world. The entire world produces just under 90 million barrels of oil per day.

Most research organizations predict production will reach between 1.6 and 2 million b/d sometime between 2017 and 2020. Recent results in the Buda and Austin Chalk make it easy to see how the area could produce much more if other formations prove commercial. Add the Permian Basin, where Texas is experiencing similar growth, and the state is closing in on Mexico as the third largest producer in North America (behind the U.S. and Canada)

Eagle Ford Oil Production Expected to Eclipse 1 Million b/d in 2014

EIA Eagle Ford Oil Graph
EIA Eagle Ford Oil Graph

Eagle Ford oil production is nearing 700,000 b/d and Eagle Ford condensate production measured at the wellhead has surpassed 200,000 b/d. Add condensate that falls out further downstream and the play is close to reaching 1 million b/d of total oil and condensate production.

The EIA's most recent drilling productivity report proclaimed the Eagle Ford has already surpassed 1 million b/d of oil production, but the agency is counting both oil and condensate from the entire region. Most analysts are predicting the play will reach the million barrel benchmark for oil only sometime in 2014.

If the whispers we're hearing about capital budgets in 2014 are true, the play will likely surpass the 1 million b/d mark in the first half of the year.

North America Is Becoming More Important in the Global Oil Market

Watch the video depicting North America oil production over the past 30 years below. There's not a whole lot of change until the last few years and that has been magnified in 2013. The Bakken and Eagle Ford are nearing 1 million b/d and the Permian Basin has already surpassed that mark.

The Eagle Ford Influences the Natural Gas Market

Eagle Ford natural gas production is approximately 3 Bcf/d or 5% of onshore production in the contiguous states. That's no small feat for an oil play. Natural gas prone portions of the play provide additional opportunity if prices improve to more than $4/mcf in the coming years.

The Eagle Ford is best in class when it comes to shale plays. Great economics combined with access to the Gulf Coast industrial complex provide a strategic advantage not matched by any play in the world. Watch for the Eagle Ford to continue driving the economy in South Texas even if oil prices drop as much as 20%.

Crimson Exploration Merges With Contango Oil

Contango Oil - Crimson Exploration Combined Assets
Contango Oil - Crimson Exploration Combined Assets

Crimson Exploration and Contango Oil announced the companies will merge at the end of April. The new Contango Oil gains exposure to the Eagle Ford in several counties across South Texas.

The combined company will have the option to develop or explore Eagle Ford acreage in Dimmit, Karnes, Liberty, Madison, and Zavala counties.

While not all of its South Texas acreage is prospective for the Eagle Ford, the company has 51,000 net acres prospective for the Buda, Eagle Ford, and other conventional formations, as well as 26,600 net acres prospective for the Woodbine and Eagle Ford in Liberty County.

Contango Oil Eagle Ford Acreage Dimmit Zavala
Contango Oil Eagle Ford Acreage Dimmit Zavala

Crimson had planned development at 160-acre spacing at the company's Zavala & Dimmit acreage and believes upside exist for 80-acre spacing. Additional wells are planned in Karnes County and exploration potential in Madison County is yet to be explored.

Read the full merger announcement at