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Is the Pearsall Shale Fact or Fiction?


South Texas has been abuzz lately with speculation about the “oiliness” of the Pearsall Shale lying beneath the prolific Eagle Ford Shale. Given the amount of recent activity, the play just might have legs.

Cabot Oil & Gas kicked off the excitement on June 22, 2012 when it announced a $250 million joint venture with Osaka Gas of Japan. The companies took leases on 50,000 net acres in Atascosa, Frio, LaSalle and Zavala counties.

A quick search in Drillinginfo reveals eight companies have had permits issued in the last 365 days. The companies currently drilling include Blackbrush, Cabot, Chesapeake, Cheyenne Petroleum, Lewis Petro, Newfield, Rosetta Resources and Valance Operating Company. Outside of the permitting activity, there is very limited data available through public agencies.

Drillinginfo Results

However, Issue 2 of AAPL’s Landman Magazine, published July 2012, indicates Cheyenne Petroleum’s Frio County Aline Williams B well tested very positively. It flowed 744 bbls of oil and 418,000 cubic feet of gas per day from an unreported Pearsall zone. The company’s LaSalle County 3 Irvin Family well also tested strongly, flowing at a daily rate of 6,235,000 cubic feet of gas and 552 bbls of condensate. Both of these wells were permitted in the Indio Tanks (Pearsall) Field, Dimmit, LaSalle, Maverick, and Zavala counties area that was designated a gas field on June 16, 2011 by docket #01-0270897. The Railroad Commission (RRC) G-1 PDF found under Drillinginfo’s Related Filings page revealed only a gas test for the Aline Williams B well.

A similar search of the 3 Irvin Family reveals information for the 2H and 3H wells. But, as it turns out, both were Eagle Ford, not Pearsall wells.

The fact that condensate and NGL’s go unreported to the RRC may explain the lack of initial data, but that does not explain the current gas production shortfalls. We will check RRC records for any revised numbers to clarify discrepancies seen to date. Most of the Pearsall wells were permitted recently, so data should begin appearing towards the end of the year.

While the available information looks promising, it is very limited. As a result, fact still needs to be separated from fiction in the Pearsall Shale. We’re eager to see how things develop and will keep you posted as the play unfolds.

What do you think? Is the Pearsall Shale a legitimate play? Or, is there another emerging trend you believe has more potential? Leave a comment below.

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