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Looking at Well Cost Trends in the Eagle Ford

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Drilling and completion costs

In a March 2016 study, the EIA (U.S. Energy Information Administration) and IHS Global revealed that average well drilling and completion costs in major producing regions in the United States, including the Eagle Ford Shale, would decline. The study on well cost trends was based on data from 2006 through 2015. Based on this data, the EIA released its forecast for 2016 through 2018.

The EIA expects well costs to be lower at the end of 2018 than they were in in 2012, when they peaked. This reduction will be a result of reduced drilling activity and drilling efficiency.

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Key commentary by the EIA

The EIA report stated that “over time the Eagle Ford has achieved greater efficiencies in well design and implementation due to the drop of costs for the same activities and well design features. Proppant use is increasing. However unlike the Bakken, this increase in proppant usage correlates with increased production performance.” In regards to operational costs, it added, “Proximity to markets and abundant infrastructure contribute to lower transport fees. Furthermore, differentials to WTI[1. West Texas Intermediate] and HH[2. Henry Hub] are very low (less than 5%), making this an attractive location.”

Top players in the Eagle Ford include EOG Resources (EOG) and ConocoPhillips (COP). Top players in the Bakken include Continental Resources (CLR) and Whiting Petroleum (WLL).

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