A short time before the Eagle Ford shale play took flight, several companies had quietly set about writing a new chapter for the petroleum history books on what would become known as the Eaglebine play. For their efforts, the production numbers from wells drilled in the play are starting to show a significant return.

Geology of the play

Current activity in the Eaglebine is focused in Brazos, Grimes, Leon, Madison, Robertson, and Walker counties. The Eaglebine is the East Texas extension of the Eagle Ford. The name was coined to encompass both the Woodbine Group and the Eagle Ford Group. Bounded by the Austin Chalk and Buda limestone formations, the Eaglebine comprises conventional and unconventional reservoirs.

Formed during the Cretaceous period from fluvial flow deposition and marine sediments, the formation is widely spread across East Texas. The sands thicken between the San Marcos arch to the west and Sabine uplift to the east. The play is more shallow and oily to the northwest and becomes deeper and gassier to the southeast.

In remarks at the recent Hart Energy DUG Eagle Ford Conference, Thomas D. Bowman, vice president, Evaluation, Geology, and Geophysics for ZaZa, said that silica-rich sands and silts are intermixed in the entire Eaglebine section. The very thick interval contains more than 305 m (1,000 ft) of mixed-lithology sediments. Within the Eaglebine, there are two broad divisions: The upper Eaglebine has numerous sandstone packages interbedded with organic-rich shales, and the lower Eaglebine is more of a shale resource play. Additionally, deeper Lower Cretaceous targets such as Buda, Georgetown, Edwards, and Glen Rose exist in the area.

"With all of the different formations that operators have to choose from in this area, I expect to see plenty of growth," said Nicholas Hopkins, district engineer for Weatherford. "Operators are able to use one well site and drill multiple wells to multiple formations instead of multiple wells to a single formation."

Since 2007, about 100 horizontal wells targeting the Woodbine sands have been drilled. Through the application of technologies like horizontal drilling and hydraulic fracturing, producers are seeing success in the tight sands of the Eaglebine play. In remarks made at the Enercom Oil and Gas Conference in Denver in August, Floyd Wilson, chief executive of Halc?n Resources, said that horizontal drilling and modern completion techniques were the game-changer in the play.

Eaglebine producer roundup

Several companies, both large and small, are