EOG sees Wolfcamp as next big U.S. oilfield

HOUSTON, Sept 8 Thu Sep 8, 2011 4:10pm EDT

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HOUSTON, Sept 8 (Reuters) - A shale formation in the U.S. Permian basin will likely be a significant producer of crude oil, Mark Papa, the chief executive officer of oil and gas company EOG Resources Inc (EOG.N) told investors on Thursday.

"This play is truly in the first inning," Papa told Barclays CEO Energy-Power Conference in New York, adding that the Wolfcamp formation eventually could be one of the largest oilfields in U.S. history.

"We've seen enough of the data from our drilling out there," he said in remarks broadcast over the Internet.

The Wolfcamp spans parts of West Texas and southern New Mexico and is estimated to have gross oil reserves of 2.1 billion barrels oil equivalent but shale oil recovery rates are typically low.

Crude oil prices would need to drop below $60 per barrel for companies to cut back on oil shale exploration, Papa said. (Reporting by Anna Driver in Houston, editing by Matthew Lewis)

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