Eagle Ford oil output surges in December

EOG Resources Inc. and other drillers increased production in Texas’s Eagle Ford shale formation by 68 percent in December compared with the same period a year earlier.

The nine geographic fields that make up the majority of the play yielded 384,964 barrels of crude a day, according to preliminary data released yesterday by the Texas Railroad Commission, which oversees oil and gas drilling in the state. Preliminary daily output in November was 358,826 barrels, the commission reported last month.

In December 2011, the fields yielded 229,269 barrels a day.

Production of condensates, or natural gas liquids, was 52,781 barrels a day in December, down from 97,475 the previous year, as drillers have tried to move away from less profitable gas plays.

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Railroad Commission production totals typically increase as the state receives revised, corrected or late reports. For example, November output was increased to 393,981 barrels a day in this month’s report.

EOG is the largest leaseholder in the Eagle Ford play, with 644,000 net acres. Chesapeake Energy Corp. is next with 490,000, according to data compiled by Bloomberg.

Growing production out of Eagle Ford is helping fuel a renaissance in Texas crude. The state produced 2.14 million barrels a day in October, the highest monthly level since February 1987, according to the U.S. Energy Department’s Energy Information Administration.

Plains Marketing LP’s posted price for Eagle Ford oil today was $104.87 a barrel, compared with the most recent settlement prices of $95.86 for West Texas Intermediate and $117.38 for Brent.