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Today in Energy

April 23, 2012

Eagle Ford oil and natural gas well starts rose sharply in first quarter 2012

graph of Eagle Ford well starts, as described in the article text
Source: U.S. Energy Information Administration, Bentek Energy LLC.

New well starts in the Eagle Ford region in Texas increased 110% from January through March 2012 compared to the same period in 2011, according to reporting and analysis by BENTEK Energy LLC (Bentek).

Other key findings include:

  • Operators started drilling (spudded) 856 new wells in January through March 2012 compared to 407 in January through March 2011.
  • In early April 2012, the Eagle Ford active rig count set a new high of 217 units.
  • Increased drilling and rig deployment translated into higher crude oil and condensate production, which is projected to average over 500 thousand barrels per day (bbl/d) in April, up from 182 thousand bbl/d in April 2011.
  • Current Eagle Ford area natural gas production is about two billion cubic feet per day.
  • Horizontal wells accounted for nearly all of the new well starts so far in 2012.
  • Much of the drilling activity in the Eagle Ford is targeting both crude oil and wet natural gas resources.
  • Bentek estimates that in March 2012, Eagle Ford crude oil and lease condensate production was approaching crude oil production in the North Dakota part of the Bakken formation.