Eagle Ford – update until 2016-01

The presentation above, about shale oil production in the Eagle Ford (EF), now contains data from the RRC until January 2016. Although data for the last few months (esp. last January) is still subject to future revisions, it is clear that there has been a very large drop in oil production since March 2015, with no sign of stopping yet. The size of this drop is in line with what the EIA has reported in its Drilling Productivity report.

It is surprising to me to see that the EF has dropped so much though, compared with the Niobrara, as we can see in the “Well Quality” tab that the wells in the EF are quite a bit more productive than Niobrara wells. This has probably to do with the difference in well costs between these two basins, so I hope someone can comment on that.

In the total production overview (“How much is produced?” tab), the total oil production in the EF is shown, grouped by the year in which the wells started production. You can change this granularity to quarter or month now. I do note here that, as a few percent of the older wells are re-completed every year (which greatly boosts production), this causes older production to appear to decline less than the actual natural decline of these wells. Installing pumps in older wells also has a similar effect.

In the “Well quality” tab, it is now possible to see the well productivity over time per operator, and county. You can change the graph to logarithmic mode now, which I myself find useful to understand the nature of the decline better. Also, you can also change the “grouping” to ‘operator’, or ‘county’, in order to quickly see which operators or counties had the most/least productive wells so far.

I have estimated individual well production based on an algorithm, as the RRC does not provide individual well production data. Nonetheless, I belief that these estimates are reasonably accurate, as all the production that was provided on lease level, has been divided over the wells in the lease, based on typical production profiles, and the known production start date of the well.

I also added a new tab, “Well Status”, where you can the number and status of wells over time. Furthermore, you can see an overview there that shows the distribution of well production levels over time. This can give some insight in how fast the total basin is “aging”.

Compared with the previous update, I added a few more oil leases from non-core EF counties (RRC districts 3-5), that I missed last time. I now belief that this presentation includes all the oil production in the EF, as classified by the RRC. The oil production numbers shown here match very closely (within 1-2%) with the RRC numbers for the EF. No condensate or NGL is included in these figures, as by RRC definition these are only produced from gas leases, which I have not included.

In about 3 months or so I hope to have collected enough revision data, to be able to say something about how much I expect the last couple of months to be revised. Because of the nature of the oil production (higher productive wells, and bigger companies) in the EF, I suspect that revisions will be less than for Texas as a whole.

Thanks goes again to Mike Shellman for helping me out with some questions on the RRC.

In about 1 to 2 weeks, I will have a post on the Permian.


The above presentation has many interactive features:

  • You can click through the blocks on the top to see the slides.
  • Each slide has filters that can be set, e.g. to select individual or groups of operators. You can first click “all” to deselect all items. You have to click the “apply” button at the bottom to enforce the changes. After that, click anywhere on the presentation.
  • Tooltips are shown by just hovering the mouse over parts of the presentation.
  • You can move the map around, and zoom in/out.
  • By clicking on the legend you can highlight selected items, and include or exclude categories.
  • Note that filters have to be set for each tab separately.
  • If you have any questions on how to use the interactivity, or how to analyze specific questions, please don’t hesitate to ask.