Study: Eagle Ford Shale Play Tops Bakken for Tight Oil

Increased oil production in Texas shale formation leads to increased merger and acquisition activity.

The Eagle Ford Shale rock formation in south Texas could hold the most promise for “tight oil” production in the United States, according to a report released Thursday by business analytics firm IHS Inc.

Eagle Ford’s well production has exceeded the performance of the Bakken Shale formation located in Canada, North Dakota and Montana. The Bakken Shale play has typically been considered the standard for tight oil production, which is oil produced from low-porosity sources such as shale.

Eagle Ford wells produce a peak of approximately 300 to 600 barrels of oil per day compared with 150 to 399 barrels per day for the Bakken formation, IHS reported.

“Our analysis at IHS indicates that Eagle Ford drilling results to date appear to be superior to those of the Bakken,” said Andrew Byrne, director of equity research at IHS and author of the study. “Although the well counts aren’t nearly as high at this point in development of the Eagle Ford, the peak of the well-distribution curve compares favorably with the Bakken.”

Eagle Ford’s rising production has led to increasing merger and acquisition activity in the area, IHS reported. Deal values in Eagle Ford averaged $14,000 per acre in 2011 with top prices approaching $25,000 per acre.

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