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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.