Calendar An icon of a desk calendar. Cancel An icon of a circle with a diagonal line across. Caret An icon of a block arrow pointing to the right. Email An icon of a paper envelope. Facebook An icon of the Facebook "f" mark. Google An icon of the Google "G" mark. Linked In An icon of the Linked In "in" mark. Logout An icon representing logout. Profile An icon that resembles human head and shoulders. Telephone An icon of a traditional telephone receiver. Tick An icon of a tick mark. Is Public An icon of a human eye and eyelashes. Is Not Public An icon of a human eye and eyelashes with a diagonal line through it. Pause Icon A two-lined pause icon for stopping interactions. Quote Mark A opening quote mark. Quote Mark A closing quote mark. Arrow An icon of an arrow. Folder An icon of a paper folder. Breaking An icon of an exclamation mark on a circular background. Camera An icon of a digital camera. Caret An icon of a caret arrow. Clock An icon of a clock face. Close An icon of the an X shape. Close Icon An icon used to represent where to interact to collapse or dismiss a component Comment An icon of a speech bubble. Comments An icon of a speech bubble, denoting user comments. Ellipsis An icon of 3 horizontal dots. Envelope An icon of a paper envelope. Facebook An icon of a facebook f logo. Camera An icon of a digital camera. Home An icon of a house. Instagram An icon of the Instagram logo. LinkedIn An icon of the LinkedIn logo. Magnifying Glass An icon of a magnifying glass. Search Icon A magnifying glass icon that is used to represent the function of searching. Menu An icon of 3 horizontal lines. Hamburger Menu Icon An icon used to represent a collapsed menu. Next An icon of an arrow pointing to the right. Notice An explanation mark centred inside a circle. Previous An icon of an arrow pointing to the left. Rating An icon of a star. Tag An icon of a tag. Twitter An icon of the Twitter logo. Video Camera An icon of a video camera shape. Speech Bubble Icon A icon displaying a speech bubble WhatsApp An icon of the WhatsApp logo. Information An icon of an information logo. Plus A mathematical 'plus' symbol. Duration An icon indicating Time. Success Tick An icon of a green tick. Success Tick Timeout An icon of a greyed out success tick. Loading Spinner An icon of a loading spinner.

In the heart of Texas oil patch, it’s gas that’s taking off

Shell relocates Houston staff
Houston, Texas

The oiliest county in Texas has seen its new natural gas production capacity more than double as drillers home in on their most profitable acreage.

The peak output rate from new gas wells in Karnes County has surged 134 percent since January, estimates from Drillinginfo show. The only other county in Texas’s Eagle Ford shale patch where new gas capacity’s gaining is Live Oak, about 50 miles southwest of Karnes, the Austin-based energy data provider said.

Gas producers are focusing on the most prolific parts of their plays as they grapple with the worst price collapse since 2008, and Karnes County has long been a sweet spot in Texas’s Eagle Ford formation. The 20,000-square-mile shale play supplies about one-sixth of the nation’s crude.

Karnes County, southeast of San Antonio, is home to “top- tier acreage,” Chris Smith, senior research analyst at Drillinginfo, said in a telephone interview Wednesday. “In this pricing environment, a lot of the rigs still active would be moving toward that core area.”

The retreat to core fields, known as high-grading, is occurring in oil and gas fields across the US Drillers are eager to cut costs amid low prices and focus their rigs on sweet spots that produce the most, Smith said.

Natural gas prices have fallen about 36 percent over the past year and the front-month contract lost 0.2 percent to $2.448 per million British thermal units on the New York Mercantile Exchange at 1:25 p.m. Singapore time on Friday. U.S. crude prices have plunged 43 percent over the same period.

Drillinginfo’s “new production capacity” estimates are based on the peak output of newly drilled wells that are near each other and of the same wellbore type, Roxanna Salas, a spokeswoman for Drillinginfo, said.

Rigs actively drilling wells in Karnes County total 24 this month, the highest among the 11 Eagle Ford shale counties for which complete data was available, according Drillinginfo. That’s up from 19 in June.

Going forward, Smith said, producers are “more focused on drilling near highly productive wells.”

Recommended for you


More from Energy Voice

Latest Posts