Comstock ramps up Eagle Ford spending

Comstock Resources Inc. said McMullen County, Tex., was the site of some of the company's best performing Eagle Ford shale wells in 2013. Six wells drilled in the county came online with production rates of 1,025-1,340 boe/d, compared to an average, initial production rate of 780 boe/d for all Comstock wells completed in the shale formation last year.

Comstock spent $343.6 million on continuing development and exploration in 2013, with the bulk of spending, $325 million, allocated toward development of the Eagle Ford shale in South Texas. The company drilled 75 gross (51.6 net) wells and completed 63 gross (42 net) wells in the shale play last year.

Eagle Ford spending will grow to encompass $419 million of Comstock's $478 million development and exploration budget in 2014, with the remainder of funds dedicated to the emerging Tuscaloosa Marine shale ($27 million) in Louisiana and Mississippi and other items ($4 million).

Comstock's Eagle Ford shale position produced 7,300 b/d of oil in the fourth quarter and accounted for 96% of the company's total oil production. Natural gas production averaged 133 MMcfd in the period, with 19 MMcfd coming from South Texas.

Comstock holds 31,800 gross (25,300 net) acres prospective for the Eagle Ford shale in Atascosa, Frio, Karnes, LaSalle, and McMullen counties in south-central Texas. The company also last year acquired 34,000 gross (21,000 net) acres prospective to the play in East Texas, in Burleson and Washington counties.

Devon closes major deal with GeoSouthern

Devon Energy Corp. formally entered the Eagle Ford shale in late February, after closing the $6 billion acquisition of leasehold from GeoSouthern Energy Corp.

The deal brings Devon 82,000 net acres in DeWitt and Lavaca counties, Tex.

Devon, based in Oklahoma City, has allocated roughly $1.1 billion of its $5.0-5.4 billion capital spending budget to the South Texas shale formation in 2014.

The producer plans to drill about 230 wells across its Eagle Ford position using a combination of 3,500-ft and 5,000-ft laterals. Two hundred wells will be spuded in DeWitt County, where Devon and partner BHP Billiton plan to run 16 rigs. Three additional rigs will be operated exclusively by Devon in Lavaca county, where 30 wells are planned.

The entrance into the Eagle Ford shale is part of Devon's larger strategic effort to increase the proportion of oil and NGL production in its portfolio.

"Our Eagle Ford acquisition is one of several bold steps we have recently taken to upgrade our portfolio and improve the growth trajectory and profitability of our business," said John Richels, chief executive officer of Devon.

Net production from Devon's Eagle Ford leasehold is expected to average 70,000-80,000 boe/d in 2014.

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