Trending
MOST READ
Beaches Be Trippin\': Five Texas Coast Spots Worth the Drive

Beaches Be Trippin': Five Texas Coast Spots Worth the Drive

Arts & Culture: Let’s face it, most of us Lone Stars view the Texas coast as a poor man’s Waikiki. Hell, maybe just a poor man’s Panama Beach — only to be used... By Callie Enlow 7/10/2013
Chris Perez, husband of slain Tejana icon Selena, tells of romance, suffering

Chris Perez, husband of slain Tejana icon Selena, tells of romance, suffering

Arts & Culture: In one of the final chapters of his book To Selena, With Love (out March 6), Selena's widower Chris Perez mentions that Abraham Quintanilla, his former father-in-law, once... By Enrique Lopetegui 3/7/2012
Chris Pérez, Selena’s Husband, Faces His Past and Looks Forward, Musically

Chris Pérez, Selena’s Husband, Faces His Past and Looks Forward, Musically

Music: Chris Pérez never saw it coming. “All I ever wanted to do was play guitar,” he told the Current. “I never thought I’d be the subject of an interview... By Enrique Lopetegui 8/28/2013
Veg Out with Earth Burger

Veg Out with Earth Burger

Food & Drink: “Do you want cheese on that?” “Yeah, sure.” “Vegan or organic?” “Um, what? Where am I?” By Jessica Elizarraras 7/23/2014
Savage Love: The Boys in the Bandwidth

Savage Love: The Boys in the Bandwidth

Arts & Culture: I am a gay man and have been in a relationship with my GGG boyfriend for more than three years. We are in our early 20s and have a... By Dan Savage 7/23/2014
Calendar

Search hundreds of restaurants in our database.

Search hundreds of clubs in our database.

Follow us on Instagram @sacurrent

Print Email

News

Why the Great Shale Rush in the Eagle Ford may be over sooner than you think

Photo: , License: N/A


In Chesapeake's first major dive into the Eagle Ford, the company spent $1.7 billion acquiring 700,000 acres across in 2010 — which company geologists estimate holds 5,000 barrels of oil per acre, according to Forbes. Later that year, CEO McClendon forged a joint venture in which China's state-owned Cnooc Ltd., which paid Chesapeake $1.1 billion upfront for a one-third stake and pledged to put up another $1.1 billion to pay for drilling costs. In short, Chesapeake was able to recoup nearly all its initial investment while dodging drilling costs and holding onto two-thirds of its Eagle Ford holdings.

Drillers in the Eagle Ford pumped out 21.8 million barrels of oil in 2011, UTSA's Tunstall said, nearly three times the center's initial estimate. The production of highly sought-after condensate hit almost 19 million barrels that same year, compared to original projections of just 5.6 million barrels. And 221 billion cubic feet of natural gas were produced in the Eagle Ford last year, double the center's initial projections. In all, Tunstall anticipates the region could see a peak of 2,500 new wells drilled annually by 2016, only then gradually tapering off. In all, there could be 60,000 wells in productions across the region, he said, though he hesitated to offer projections more than a decade out. The Gas Association's Blackmon isn't as wary. "We expect the life of these wells to be quite long. … A span of decades," he told a crowd at an Eagle Ford Shale Open House event the group hosted last year at Coastal Bend College. "They will come in at a much higher production rate initially, and you will have a pretty steep decline rate in these wells for the first several months, and then they will level out and produce for a long period of time."

It's not the steep decline Berman has a problem with. It's the suggestion that the wells will continue to be productive afterwards. Tracking 200 wells drilled in the Eagle Ford in 2008, Berman says he's seen a 145 percent annual rate of decline — "the most astonishing decline rate of any shale play I've looked at.

"The reality is that these things have a life cycle and the life cycle, I'm afraid, will be shorter than the pervasive optimism people feel at the beginning."•

We welcome user discussion on our site, under the following guidelines:

To comment you must first create a profile and sign-in with a verified DISQUS account or social network ID. Sign up here.

Comments in violation of the rules will be denied, and repeat violators will be banned. Please help police the community by flagging offensive comments for our moderators to review. By posting a comment, you agree to our full terms and conditions. Click here to read terms and conditions.
comments powered by Disqus