Eagle Ford Shale Information

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What is the Eagle Ford Shale?

The Eagle Ford  Shale is a hydrocarbon producing formation of significant importance due to its  capability of producing both gas and more oil than other traditional shale  plays.  It contains a much higher  carbonate shale percentage, upwards to 70% in south Texas, and becomes  shallower and the shale content increases as it moves to the northwest.  The high percentage of carbonate makes it  more brittle and “fracable”.  The shale  play trends across Texas from the Mexican border up into East Texas, roughly 50  miles wide and 400 miles long with an average thickness of 250 feet.  It is Cretaceous in age resting between the  Austin Chalk and the Buda Lime at a depth of approximately 4,000 to 12,000  feet.  It is the source rock for the  Austin Chalk and the giant East Texas Field.   The name has often been misspelled as “Eagleford”.  A great picture can be found at the Energy  Information Administration (EIA) http://www.eia.gov/oil_gas/rpd/shaleusa9.pdf which shows the structural contours and windows for the oil, wet gas/condensate  and dry gas. 

Eagle Ford Statistics
Drilling Permits Issued
Total Natural Gas Production
Oil Production Statistics 
Condensate Liquid Production 

There were 2,521 producing oil leases on schedule in 2013; 1,262 producing oil leases on schedule in 2012; 368 producing oil leases on schedule in 2011; 72 producing oil leases in 2010; and 40 producing oil leases in 2009. There were 2,418 producing gas well on schedule in 2013; 875 producing gas well on schedule in 2012; 550 producing gas wells in 2011; 158 producing gas wells in 2010; and 67 producing gas wells in 2009.

History of the Eagle Ford

It is named for  the town of Eagle Ford, Texas where it can be seen on the surface as clay  soil.  Eagle Ford, Texas is approximately  6 miles west of Dallas, Texas. An  outcrop of the Eagle Ford Shale can be seen in the Dallas-Fort Worth  Metroplex. Wikipedia shows a nice  picture of the outcrop of the Austin Chalk and Eagle Ford shale at the following link http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Austin_Chalk_-Eagle_Ford_Contact.JPG  

Petrohawk drilled  the first of the Eagle Ford wells in 2008, discovering in the process the  Hawkville (Eagle Ford) Field in La Salle County (District 1).   The discovery well flowed at a rate of 7.6  million cubic feet of gas per day from a 3,200-foot lateral (first perforation  11,141 feet total vertical depth) with 10 frac stages.  Originally, there were 30 plus fields, however, due to field consolidations, the number of fields has been reduced to currently 22 active fields (with 17 inactive) located within the Railroad  Commission Districts 1 thru 5 and the fields cover 26 counties.  The wells in the  deeper part of the play deliver a dry gas, but moving northeastward out of  District 1 and updip, the wells produce more liquids.  One of the fields discovered in District 2 is actually an oil  field (Eagleville (Eagle Ford)).    The major operators joining Petrohawk in  drilling the Eagle Ford Shale Play are Anadarko, Apache, Atlas, EOG, Lewis  Petro, Geo Southern, Pioneer, SM Energy and XTO to name just a few. 

Benefits of Natural Gas

Natural gas is a relatively clean burning energy source. Producing additional domestic natural gas may reduce dependence on foreign energy sources. For more information about natural gas, please visit the United States Department of Energy, Natural Gas home page.  

What the Railroad Commission has jurisdiction over and who to contact

The Railroad Commission regulates the exploration and  production of oil and natural gas in Texas.   The Commission’s primary responsibilities include: preventing waste of  oil and gas resources; protection of surface and subsurface   water; and, ensuring all mineral interest owners have an opportunity to develop  their fair share of the minerals underlying their property.  

The RRC has provided an information page containing links to city, county,  state, and federal governments within the Eagle Ford area.

For further information, contact our district offices.

What the Railroad Commission does NOT have jurisdiction over and who to contact

The Railroad Commission does not have jurisdiction over roads, traffic, noise,   odors, leases, pipeline easements, or royalty payments.

Roads and Traffic:  The Railroad Commission does not have jurisdiction over, and exercises no   regulatory authority with respect to, private or public roads or road use.    Permits issued by the Commission for oil and gas exploration, production, and   waste disposal do not limit any independent authority of a municipality, county   or other state agencies with respect to road use.

The Texas Department of Transportation oversees   the construction and maintenance of state highways within their jurisdiction. In addition, TXDOT is responsible for issuing access permits to well sites from a roadway on the state highway system. Please review letter for specific access permit requirements. To   contact the appropriate district office, please visit the Texas Department of Transportation, Local Information web site. For county or city contact   information, please visit the RRC information page.

Noise:  The Commission has no statutory authority over noise or nuisance related issues. Noise and nuisance related issues would be governed by local ordinances.

Odors and Air Contaminants: The Railroad Commission does not have regulatory authority over odors or air contaminants. However, for a well within the city limits, the city may enact ordinances regarding odors or other nuisances. In addition, the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality (TCEQ) has jurisdiction over odor and air contaminants. Please see http://www.tceq.state.tx.us/compliance/complaints/odor_complaint.html.

Oil and Gas Exploration and Surface Ownership: For general information pertaining to exploration and surface ownership, please visit the Oil and Gas Exploration and Surface Ownership webpage.

Royalty payments: For general information  pertaining to leases and royalties, please visit the General Information Pertaining to Leases and Royalties webpage.


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Last Updated: 7/17/2017 9:43:55 AM