News from SPE ATCE 2012: Despite increase in fracing operations, Eagle Ford well performance stagnant since 2010
BY NELL LUKOSAVICH
SAN ANTONIO – While the Eagle Ford shale is bustling with activity given the liquids-rich resources in the play, an update of a four-year study, presented today at SPE ATCE 2012, suggests that well performance in the area may be slowing down, due to high initial decline rates.
Independent consultant Gary Swindell presented the results of a 10-county Eagle Ford well analysis that studied recovery and decline rates using the latest production information from February 2012. In using rate vs. time plots on 1,041 producing wells on 843 leases, the average estimated ultimate recovery (EUR) per well was 206,779 boe and the median was 160,519 boe. Of all the wells studies, only 6% have a greater EUR than 500,000, with the highest being 1 MMboe. In a summary of decline profiles over the last four years, the average is 76% - and seems to be holding steady at that rate since July 2010.
While fracing operations have improved the EUR of wells in the area, average performance seems to have hit a plateau, Swindell said. “Wells with horizontal legs 4,000-5,000-ft in length seem to be doing the best, in terms of increasing EUR.” Despite these high initial decline rates, Swindell added that activity in the area is increasing each year, with about 100 new leases becoming active every month.