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Stand Back !

Please click to enlarge

Thanks very much to my buddy, Enno Peters with Shale Profile Analytics for this. It is the "medical file," so to speak, on 1,500 Eagle Ford shale oil wells born in South Texas, whose first production occurred in 2012. After seven years the wells in this data set have declined to 20 BOPD and appear to still be declining at the annual rate of 14%.

Listen, you don't want to be standing behind wells that decline like this, they'll suck the hard hard plum off your head as they go by.

At $55 WTI oil prices I believe most Eagle Ford shale oil wells will begin to reach economic limits at 10-12 BOPD. The question then becomes, on leases that are held by economic production elsewhere, will these uneconomic wells be shut in hoping for higher oil prices are will they be scheduled to plug. My guess is they will be produced periodically to prevent maintenance problems and induced fracture closure, and the TRRC will allow the plugging to be deferred for a long, long time.

More recent (2016 and forward) increases in well productivity in the Eagle Ford have improved EUR's, but not as much as one might think because of steep, ensuing decline rates. When Mother Nature pulls the plug on drive mechanisms that provide fluid conductivity to the lateral, that's pretty much all she wrote. Most of the EF shale oil wells I see on rod lift making <25 BOPD (EOG, Devon, etal.) are already on pump off controls awaiting for fluid to "build up" inside the casing, above the pump inlet, before they come back on and pump off again. That ain't too bueno.

In the mighty Eagle Ford, "59% of all wells drilled before 2016 now make less than 25 BOPD," Enno advices me.

The American Bald Eagle is a bad-ass bird. We've had them visiting the ranch (there are lots of them to the north, in the Highland Lakes region) to fish the Blanco River and they are awesome. They have no natural enemies that I am aware of, except an Osprey, and particularly an Osprey who's fishing grounds have been trespassed on. Ospreys will kick a Bald Eagles ass and literally run them off. I've seen it. Otherwise, Bald Eagles have a natural lifespan of about 20 years, so says Wikipedia.

Eagle Ford shale oil wells will not live near that long.


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