Eagle Ford oil play hotter than Bakken, study says

NEW YORK, July 26 Thu Jul 26, 2012 11:03am EDT

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NEW YORK, July 26 (Reuters) - The Eagle Ford shale in south Texas may be a better find than the prolific Bakken shale in North Dakota as typical wells in the south Texas prospect gush more oil than those in the northern Midwest, energy consultancy IHS said on Thursday.

The typical well results and peak production from Eagle Ford's best wells exceed those in the Bakken shale, which until now has been the hot spot for unconventional shale production in the United States, the IHS study said.

A typical well in the Eagle Ford averages 300 to 600 barrels-per-day (bpd) in its peak month of production, compared with 150 to 300 bpd for a Bakken well, according to the study.

"Our analysis 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.

He noted, however, that the best Bakken wells peak at 1,000 bpd.

Eagle Ford production, from shale wells that span across counties in south Texas averaged 226,000 bpd in the first four months of the year, according to Texas Railroad Commission data. That compares with the over 570,000 bpd from Bakken wells in May.

The Eagle Ford shale is a relatively new development, compared to the Bakken, and fewer wells have been drilled there compared to North Dakota.

The Bakken has helped double North Dakota's oil production in the last two years. Eagle Ford wells also have a rich natural-gas liquids content.

(Reporting by Selam Gebrekidan; Editing by Alden Bentley)

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