The Eagle Ford Basin is continuing its slow and steady climb back to peak production, recently reaching a production level that hasn’t been seen in South Texas since 2016. According to the U.S Energy Information Administration (EIA), in September the Eagle Ford produced an estimated 1.4 MMbbl/d, up 1.7% over August’s oil production. Compared to the same period last year, Eagle Ford oil production is up 23%, according to the EIA.

The Eagle Ford continues to be led by EOG Resources, which as of March was producing 247,789 bbl/d, according to ShaleProfile. Other leading producers include Marathon Oil (108,267 bbl/d), ConocoPhillips (122,248 bbl/d), Chesapeake Energy (118,942 bbl/d) and Devon Energy (52,401 bbl/d), ShaleProfile reported.

Akash Sharma, senior analyst at Drillinginfo, said permitting in the Eagle Ford has steadily increased since the third quarter of 2017, rising about 18% in that time to nearly 700 permits in the second quarter of this year. DeWitt, Karnes, La Salle and Live Oak counties have led permitting growth over the past year, although Sharma noted growth in the Eaglebine play—northeast of the Eagle Ford in counties such as Burleson, Lee and Washington. Drillinginfo data show 15 rigs operating in the Eaglebine with 20 horizontal wells having been drilled there so far this year. Permits in the Eaglebine have doubled over the last three quarters, from about 50 in the third quarter of 2017 to about 150 through the second half of the year, according to Drillinginfo.

Sharma said he expects activity to continue to migrate toward the Eaglebine region, while the Eagle Ford offers infill well growth potential, based on the large number of permits recently filed within core counties there.

 

Improved type curve production rates in the Eagle Ford and Eaglebine combined from 2016 onward are compared to previous years. (Source: DrillingInfo)

 

This map depicts horizontal wells by operators in the Eagle Ford and Eaglebine since 2016. Wildhorse Resources operates several wells in the Eaglebine in Burleson County. (Source: DrillingInfo)

 

Leases indicate a shift in direction toward the Eaglebine. (Source: DrillingInfo)

 

Crude infrastructure is well developed in the Eagle Ford but will likely need further development in the Eaglebine. (Source: DrillingInfo)