El Paso Corporation (NYSE:EP) will aggressively develop the Eagle Ford Shale as it seeks to exploit the superior returns inherent in various oil opportunities in its portfolio. The company also raised its earnings guidance and capital expenditures for 2011 due to increased activity in this area.

TUTORIAL: 20 Investments To Know

Eagle Ford Shale
El Paso has 170,000 net acres prospective for the Eagle Ford Shale, with approximately 62% exposed to the oil or liquids portion of the play. Currently focused on what the company calls the Central portion of its acreage, located in La Salle County, Texas, El Paso is operating four rigs in this area. The company has drilled 34 wells here since entering the play.

Initial production rates on wells completed in the Central area averaged 793 barrels of oil equivalent (BOE) per day to date, with approximately 80% of this production composed of oil.

El Paso is currently constrained on production from the Eagle Ford shale due to infrastructure issues but hopes to solve this problem during 2011 and reach production of approximately 15,000 BOE per day by the final quarter of 2011.

Other Players
La Salle County is an active area for many exploration and production companies that are developing the Eagle Ford Shale. PetroQuest (NYSE:PQ) has a small position here and recently spud the company's second operated well on its acreage in La Salle County.


Carrizo Oil and Gas (Nasdaq:CRZO) has 20,000 net acres under lease and has drilled and completed five wells in La Salle County through April 2011. The company plans to spend $130 million in capital one its entire Eagle Ford Shale acreage in 2011.

EOG Resources (NYSE:EOG) has 595,000 net acres under lease in La Salle and several other counties in Texas, and reported production of 23,000 BOE per day from the Eagle Ford Shale in the first quarter of 2011.

Numbers Go Up
El Paso raised its earnings guidance for 2011 and now expects adjusted diluted earnings per share to range between $1.00 and $1.10 for the year. This was an increase from the previous range of $0.90 to $1.05. The company cited higher realized oil prices and greater volumes for the increase.

The company also raised its capital budget for 2011 and now expects to spend $3.6 billion in 2011, up from the previous guidance of $3.2 billion. El Paso will use most of the additional funds for development of the Eagle Ford Shale.

This increase in capital spending in 2011 will lead to more production and El Paso raised its guidance for 2011 production to a range of 830 million to 860 million cubic feet of natural gas equivalents (mmcfe) per day, up from the previous guidance of 790 to 840 mmcfe per day.

The Bottom Line
El Paso is bullish on the Eagle Ford Shale and is directing much of its current development on leasehold that has oil and other liquids. The company recently raised its capital budget with most of the extra funds allocated to this formation.

Use the Investopedia Stock Simulator to trade the stocks mentioned in this stock analysis, risk free!

Related Articles
  1. Economics

    Investing Opportunities as Central Banks Diverge

    After the Paris attacks investors are focusing on central bank policy and its potential for divergence: tightened by the Fed while the ECB pursues easing.
  2. Stock Analysis

    The Biggest Risks of Investing in Pfizer Stock

    Learn the biggest potential risks that may affect the price of Pfizer's stock, complete with a fundamental analysis and review of other external factors.
  3. Stock Analysis

    Allstate: How Being Boring Earns it Billions (ALL)

    A summary of what Allstate Insurance sells and whom it sells it to including recent mergers and acquisitions that have helped boost its bottom line.
  4. Chart Advisor

    Copper Continues Its Descent

    Copper prices have been under pressure lately and based on these charts it doesn't seem that it will reverse any time soon.
  5. Options & Futures

    Cyclical Versus Non-Cyclical Stocks

    Investing during an economic downturn simply means changing your focus. Discover the benefits of defensive stocks.
  6. Markets

    PEG Ratio Nails Down Value Stocks

    Learn how this simple calculation can help you determine a stock's earnings potential.
  7. Stock Analysis

    What Exactly Does Warren Buffett Own?

    Learn about large changes to Berkshire Hathaway's portfolio. See why Warren Buffett has invested in a commodity company even though he does not usually do so.
  8. Investing Basics

    How to Deduct Your Stock Losses

    Held onto a stock for too long? Selling at a loss is never ideal, but it is possible to minimize the damage. Here's how.
  9. Investing

    What’s the Difference Between Duration & Maturity?

    We look at the meaning of two terms that often get confused, duration and maturity, to set the record straight.
  10. Economics

    Is Wall Street Living in Denial?

    Will remaining calm and staying long present significant risks to your investment health?
  1. Which mutual funds made money in 2008?

    Out of the 2,800 mutual funds that Morningstar, Inc., the leading provider of independent investment research in North America, ... Read Full Answer >>
  2. Do hedge funds invest in commodities?

    There are several hedge funds that invest in commodities. Many hedge funds have broad macroeconomic strategies and invest ... Read Full Answer >>
  3. What does low working capital say about a company's financial prospects?

    When a company has low working capital, it can mean one of two things. In most cases, low working capital means the business ... Read Full Answer >>
  4. Do nonprofit organizations have working capital?

    Nonprofit organizations continuously face debate over how much money they bring in that is kept in reserve. These financial ... Read Full Answer >>
  5. Can a company's working capital turnover ratio be negative?

    A company's working capital turnover ratio can be negative when a company's current liabilities exceed its current assets. ... Read Full Answer >>
  6. Does working capital measure liquidity?

    Working capital is a commonly used metric, not only for a company’s liquidity but also for its operational efficiency and ... Read Full Answer >>

You May Also Like

Trading Center