In the last half of 2022, the Eagle Ford signaled it was out to steal some Permian thunder with news of two mega acquisitions.

The nation’s second-largest oil field saw Devon in August then Marathon in November fork over a combined $4.8 billion for assets in a play considered in decline since its peak in 2014. But if last year sparked a flame of renewed interest in the Eagle Ford, 2023 is proving to be a four-alarm fire.

Reese Energy Consulting today is following the latest news out of South Texas where acquisitions are coming fast and furious despite markedly lower oil and gas prices. Only three months into the year, we’ve seen three more Eagle Ford mega deals with buyers Baytex Energy, INEOS, and Wildfire Energy snatching up assets for a combined $5.325 billion. Although the price was undisclosed, Repsol’s February purchase of assets in oil-rich Karnes County from Japan-based INPEX may well have been a fourth.

With its close proximity to the Gulf and unencumbered by pipeline constraints, the Eagle Ford this month is estimated to top 1.18 MMBPD and 7.42 BCFD. The number of rigs has remained unchanged for the last two months at 78, up from 57 a year ago. From holding third place in 2022 for the most DUCs of all seven top basins, the play now ranks as having the lowest.