DeWitt County Eagle Ford Leading The Way
As of today, some of the highest producing Eagle Ford Shale wells have been made in DeWitt County. This area of the play has some of the most favorable geology for thousand barrel – per – day plus wells, such as the Dlugosch A
Well # 1H drilled recently by Geosouthern Energy Corporation just southeast of Westhoff, and the Klaevemann Unit A Well # 1 drilled by Burlington Oil and Gas northwest of Yorktown. (Note that high IP or initial production figures of new Eagle Ford shale wells rarely hold for more than a few months before falling off.) Wells in the Sugarkane and Blackhawk fields, which span part of DeWitt, Karnes and Gonzales county, are producing high volumes of condensate and high gravity oil, as well as natural gas. Below is a photo of a new Eagle Ford Shale well in DeWitt County just northwest of Cuero.
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Oil and gas exploration companies who are drilling the Eagle Ford shale in DeWitt County include Burlington Resources Oil and Gas, (a subsidiary of ConocoPhillips,) Talisman Energy USA Incorporated, EOG Resources, Marathon Oil, Geosouthern Energy Corporation, Petrohawk Operating Company, Pioneer Natural Resources, Rosetta Resources, Matador Production Company and Chesapeake Operating. Since the first of 2012, more than 125 new permits have been issued by the Texas Railroad Commission for new horizontal Eagle Ford shale wells in DeWitt county Texas. In 2011 Marathon purchased 141,000 acres from Hilcorp Resources for $3.5 billion. Some of the acreage acquired by Marathon Oil in that purchase from Hilcorp was in DeWitt county.
Below is a photo of a drilling rig in northwestern DeWitt County, near the small community of Hochiem. The prairie around Hochiem once attracted many German, Czech and Polish immigrants because of the high quality grazing and farmland it offered. Now the rich Eagle Ford Shale oil and gas play is attracting investors from across the globe. The landscape of rural DeWitt County around communities such as Gruenau, Garfield, Westhoff and Yorktown will be forever changed by this incredible oil and gas discovery.
Some oil and gas companies drilling in DeWitt County Texas are not waiting for natural gas pipelines to reach new wells before beginning production of liquids. Since natural gas prices are depressed and the price of oil and natural gas liquids is at an all-time high, some operators are using trailer mounted flare units, such as the one seen below, to flare off large volumes of natural gas. In doing so, thousands of barrels of oil and NGLs can be recovered quickly to pay for the well, boost shareholder earnings and make investor presentations look good. Such flaring of natural gas by producers in the Eagle Ford, Bakken and other shale plays, has been met with protest from some investors. Recently a letter was sent to several oil and gas companies, including Chesapeake Energy, Continental Resources, and ExxonMobil, from a group of 36 private and institutional investors representing over $500 billion in assets. (Source: Reuters News.) The letter voiced concerns over environmental issues and lost revenue from prematurely producing liquids from newly drilled shale wells before natural gas pipelines were completed. Nevertheless, the practice of flaring large volumes of natural gas so that liquids can be recovered from Eagle Ford Shale wells before pipelines are finished is not likely to end anytime soon. Natural gas prices are severely depressed due to oversupply (coming from shale discoveries such as the Eagle Ford and Marcellus shale,) and are likely to remain below $3.00 per MMBTu for many months to come. (See natural gas price forecast chart from the EIA below.)
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