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An Observation of Faults on Production in the Eagle Ford Shale Play


There are numerous factors that influence the productivity in the Eagle Ford. As most folks know at this stage of development, the Eagle Ford Shale play is hardly homogenous. Localized, subsurface properties separate themselves from other areas by their unique reservoir features; thus creating this sort of multi play – play. The focus of this blog is to investigate the influence faults play in the Eagle Ford and ultimately on production.

Below is a map showing the Eagle Ford Shale play extent combined with Eagle Ford wells, both supplied from the DI Analytics. The faults shapefile is provided by the USGS Mineral Resources On-Line Spatial Data website and I’ve pointed out the basic tectonic elements behind these fault zones. The key objective here is to observe the well locations in respect to the faults. I’ve made the well spots a bit more opaque so that the fault lines show up on top clearly.

One can see the bunching of wells on the southern side of the faults. Here is a cross section, provided by DI Geology, highlighting the affect faulting has on thickness in the Eagle Ford. What makes this unique is the role faulting can have on production in continuous, unconventional plays, in contrast to the fault traps common in conventional drilling practices.

Diving deeper, I wanted to investigate specific well production on both sides of the fault trend. This map shows Eagle Ford wells by max month of production in barrels of oil equivalent per day. This is a good indicator of sweet spot areas. However, here I wanted to show that regardless of lateral length productivity is influenced by structural deformation by growth faults in the Eagle Ford.

Of course there are plenty of other factors that influence productivity. However, I felt that faulting deserved a bit of investigation and the role it can play on thickness. If you care to learn more about the geology of the play, feel free to check out the Geology folder of the Eagle Ford Shale in the DNA folder repository in the Drillinginfo website. This is free to all Drillinginfo subscribers.

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Matt Menchaca

Matthew Menchaca is a Research Analyst at Drillinginfo. He is a key member of the Data Management Department and the DI Analytics group. He performs industry research, tracks play development and provides various types of analysis on unconventional resource plays in the U.S. Matthew graduated from the University of Texas at Austin in 2010 after studying Geography and Geological Sciences.