One of AAPG’s newest volumes was released just in time for the 2016 Annual Convention and Exhibition.
“The Eagle Ford Shale: A Renaissance in U.S. Oil Production” continues the memoir series as Memoir 110.
The volume describes the evolution in geologic understanding that quickly transformed a world-class source rock into a world-class reservoir, which produced 1.7 million barrels of oil per day.
John Breyer, the editor of the volume, explained that many of the chapters focus on the main producing area of the Eagle Ford play. This spans from the San Marcos Arch in central Texas southwest to the Maverick basin near the border of Mexico. The area northeast of the arch is also covered.
“The volume touches on all aspects of the Eagle Ford petroleum system from the generation and geochemistry of the oils, to the pore spaces which hold them, to the techniques used to locate and develop the resource in the most cost efficient way,” he said.
Breyer began to study the Eagle Ford when his employer became interested in acquiring acreage and developing the play.
“The ‘boom’ was on, as with the Barnett a few years earlier, and it was exciting to be involved,” he said.
This is the second volume he’s edited for AAPG.
“In my previous life as a professor at Texas Christian University, I found that I never learned so much about a subject as when I taught it. Editing is a lot like teaching. In editing the volume, I got to learn from among the best and brightest working on the play,” said Breyer.
When asked about the work that went into the volume, Breyer explained that many of the authors took time outside the office with little or no reward to work on their chapters.
“For them this is a volunteer service to the community,” he said. “That so many were willing to contribute is especially remarkable, given that the industry was going full blast when I made the request and everyone was probably going above and beyond already.”
Framework For Continued Work
The information gathered by the authors in the volume has created a framework for continued work in the area. Breyer added that a group of chapters highlights the need for integrated studies so the resource can be utilized in the best possible way.
The Eagle Ford play “truly did lead to a rebirth in U.S. oil production, but then the play became a victim of its own success,” he explained.
“Production from the Eagle Ford Shale and other shale oil plays in the United States helped contribute to a glut in world oil supply that led to a precipitous drop in oil process beginning in the summer of 2014,” he added.
“Future activity in the area will depend on commodity prices but continued innovation by operators in the play is lowering the economic threshold needed to be surpassed in order to reignite drilling activity,” Breyer also said.
For more information about the volume, visit store.aapg.org and type Memoir 110 in the search bar.