The Woodbine Formation has been around since 1905, when Robert Hill first named and mapped it, but until recently it was mostly just a geological formation known for its fossil finds. Within the last few years, though, oil and gas drilling activity in the area where it meets the Eagle Ford has increased and it has become one of the latest industry plays.
The formation meets and merges with the Eagle Ford Shale formation in the Austin/Houston area, which causes the Woodbine oil and gas play to be referred to as Eaglebine. Most of the Eagle Ford drilling has historically been done in the South Texas area, around Gonzales, Dewitt, La Salle, Karnes, and McMullen counties. The Woodbine (Eaglebine) Formation drilling, however, is occurring further north and east, in and around Brazos, Madison, Walker, and Grimes counties.
Primarily producing oil, like much of the northern Eagle Ford formation, the Woodbine (Eaglebine) formation is located above the Buda Limestone, but below the Austin Chalk and is reported to have a higher clay content than the Eagle Ford shale. Along with the different rock, it’s also got lower reservoir pressure and an upper zone that’s under-pressured. This could lead to a need for more pipe, the cost of which could be negated by not having to go quite as deep for the well, though.
Operators in the formation include ZaZa Energy, Encana Corporation, Crimson Energy, EOG Resources, Halcon Resources, and others. In 2013, operations were still being kept relatively quiet, and there’s not too much info out there as of mid 2014, either. You can be sure that hundreds of thousands of acres are being permitted for drilling, though, and hundreds of millions of dollars are flowing into the area.
Being close to the shipping and refining area of Houston helps increases efficiency for operators involved, and could be one reason why they aren’t publicizing more than they are.
Investing in the Woodbine / Eaglebine Formation
The Wood-Eagle-Bine is still being felt out and developed. Investment opportunities are there and more will surely arise in the near future. If a company has the resources and experience to drill in the unique rock mixture, the project would be worth doing your due diligence on and investigating. Make sure you are aware of the risks, do your research, and ask plenty of questions before writing a check, as always.
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