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The Discovery, Reservoir Attributes and Significance of the Hawkville Field and Eagle Ford Shale Trend - A Texas Giant North American Gas Discovery

Stoneburner, Richard K.
[email protected]

The discovery of the Hawkville field in October 2008 represented the first commercial production from the Eagle Ford shale. Since that time the trend has seen a remarkable surge in drilling activity that has resulted in a current production level of almost 1 million barrels of oil equivalent per day. The discovery process by the Petrohawk Energy Corporation exploration team followed by the detailed petrophysical evaluation of the reservoir character verified that the Eagle Ford shale is truly a world class shale reservoir that has changed the landscape of hydrocarbon production from both the state and the country.

The exploration process was a classic example of the "inside out" approach utilized in exploring for unconventional reservoirs, as contrasted to the "outside in" approach utilized in exploring for conventional reservoirs. The subsurface study identified a local area in LaSalle and McMullen Counties that displayed excellent petrophysical parameters in the Eagle Ford. A geochemical analysis was then performed on cuttings from a well in the area of interest that produced favorable results. Lastly, a seismic signature was identified that enabled a discreet, but very large, buy outline to be defined. A total of approximately 160,000 acres was quickly assembled and a well was then drilled and completed. The entire process from concept to discovery only took approximately 10 months.

Subsequent to the discovery a thorough petrophysical, geochemical and geomechanical study was undertaken to better understand all aspects of the reservoir. The basis for this study was the data derived from the discovery well and pilot well program, with the data acquired from the whole core grid providing the basis for the study. Once the core data was acquired a methodical effort was made to calibrate the core data to the open hole log data. The resulting data set provided the basis for a wide array of interpretations that greatly aided the appraisal process.

The discovery of the Hawkville field and other discoveries made by industry partners in the Eagle Ford made it apparent that the trend was going to provide a significant boost to the production of oil, gas and natural gas liquids in the United States. The effects of that production increase are beginning to make a difference in the security of the country’s hydrocarbon supply. However, the potential for significant production growth beyond what has already been achieved could greatly enhance our prosperity.


AAPG Search and Discovery Article #90166©2013 AAPG International Conference & Exhibition, Cartagena, Colombia, 8-11 September 2013