STEER to Guide Oil, Gas Industry Integration in South Texas




Texas. The Lone Star State. The Oil State.

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The Eagle Ford shale play has transformed the South Texas landscape since Petrohawk Energy Corp. drilled the first Eagle Ford well in 2008. The Eagle Ford was named for a small town west of Dallas where the shale is visible on the surface as clay oil, and stretches from the Mexican border to East Texas. But new applications of hydraulic fracturing and horizontal drilling have unlocked Eagle Ford shale production the South Texas region.

Oil production from the Eagle Ford shale has grown from 358 barrels of oil per day (bopd) to 338,911 bopd in 2012, and condensate production has increased from 1,423 bopd in 2009 to 72,126 bopd last year. Natural gas production also grew in the Eagle Ford from 8 million cubic feet per day (MMcf/d) to 964 MMcf/d in 2012.

The Eagle Ford’s success has primarily been due to its greater productivity compared with other traditional shale plays. Oil revenues and petroleum liquids production across the play also are supporting economic development even in a time of low U.S. natural gas prices, according to a March 13 report by the Eagle Ford Shale Task Force. With 235 rigs running in the play, the Eagle Ford could potentially become the most active oil and gas play in North America, with operators forecasting exploration and production activity to continue developing in the coming decades.

The Eagle Ford boom has brought jobs and economic growth to South Texas. In 2011, the Eagle Ford supported nearly 50,000 full-time jobs in 20 counties and contributed more than $25 billion to the South Texas economy, the Eagle Ford Shale Task Force reported. Earlier this year, Wood Mackenzie reported that oil and gas companies will spend $28 billion in capital expenditures (CAPEX) this year in the Eagle Ford, and expects Eagle Ford CAPEX from 2012 to 2015 to exceed the entire $116 billion Kashagan project in Kazakhstan, the world’s most expensive standalone energy project.


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