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Enterprise Execs Give Nod to 'Sleeper' Eagle Ford, Comeback Haynesville

The Permian Basin might be getting most of the rigs, and most of the press, but the Eagle Ford Shale is a "sleeper," and rigs keep trickling back to the Haynesville Shale, too, Enterprise Products Partners LP executives said during a conference call Monday.

"We think the Eagle Ford is a sleeper that people aren't paying attention to, and I'd tell you what we like about what we see in the Eagle Ford. One is rig counts are up substantially, and people don't realize that they've moved significantly off of their low and continue to add two to five a week," said Tony Chovanec, senior vice president in charge of fundamentals and supply appraisal.

"The other thing that's going on in the Eagle Ford that is missed by many people is it's beginning to participate in its own stacks. And what I mean by that is people aren't just drilling the Eagle Ford there anymore, they're also mostly drilling the Austin Chalk."

For Enterprise, Eagle Ford economics are competitive with those in the Permian, Chovanec said. He added that smaller players are entering the South Texas play. "...[W]e think the Eagle Ford is going to be an area where you're going to go from a couple of handfuls of very large players to smaller players, which is really opposite of what's happening in the Permian," he said.

Jim Teague, CEO of Enterprise's general partner, concurred. "...[W]e still think that the Eagle Ford is going to be a bright shining star before it's all said and done and create opportunities."

Turning to the Haynesville, there's reason for optimism there, too, primarily because of a modestly but steadily rising rig count.

Chovanec noted rig gains in the Haynesville that have been more or less consistent over the last several weeks, one, two or more per week. "We don't expect that that's going to change," he said. Producers in the Haynesville, particularly new entrants, are applying new techniques to the play, he said, adding that the North Louisiana plays proximity to the Gulf Coast liquefied natural gas market doesn't hurt the play's outlook either.

Last week Comstock Resources Inc. announced plans for 20 wells in the Haynesville this year.

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