It’s not the 1980s again but Rockdale is increasingly becoming the center of oilfield activity which is picking up momentum in several directions.
For most of the past year, activity in the old Minerva-Rockdale Field has steadily increased, with unofficial reports that as many as 200 wells have been drilled in a field that 90 years ago brought a major oil boom to Milam County.
Now, a formerly Denver-based oil exploration and production company has changed its name to Rockdale Resources Corporation, moved its corporate headquarters to Austin and already has five wells in production just south of H. H. Coffield Regional Airport.
PRODUCTION—Marc Spezialy, Rockdale Resources chief financial officer, told The Reporter Monday that production figures on the wells should be available soon.
Spezialy said about $4-million has been raised toward the venture by the publicly-traded corporation.
“If these first five do all right, we’re probably looking at around 50 more,” he said. “That would mean about another $10 million investment.”
Spezialy said 10 barrels per day would be an acceptable figure.
Rockdale Resources has a sizable work force on hand and has already hired about 10 Rockdale residents.
‘ROCKDALE’ FIELD—While Rockdale Resources refers to its operations as the “Rockdale Field,” it’s actually in the northern end of a well-known field that was an oil hot spot in the 1920s.
“We’re in the Minerva-Rockdale Field, in the shallow Navarro B Formation,” Rockdale Resourc- es spokesman Russell Zimmerman said. The Navarro B is about 1,500 feet below the surface.
Zimmerman noted that none of the Milam County oil activity— including the approximately 200 wells already drilled in the Minerva area—is in the much publicized Shallow Ford Field, which has energized much of Texas southeast of San Antonio.
DONATIONS—“ The Eagle Ford is much deeper,” he said. “It’s about 6,000 feet. We’re certainly not aware of any Eagle Ford activity in Milam County.”
Texas Railroad Commission maps show the Eagle Ford formation running under a portion of Milam County, but indicated only three permits filed in that formation for the county.
It’s estimated the Eagle Ford Shale may contain as much as 25 billion barrels of oil and 150 trillion feet of natural gas.
The Eagle Ford formation deepens as it runs north and east from South Texas.
Spezialy said the new oil company planned on being a part of the community. On Monday, Rockdale Resources made a trio of $2,000 contributions to local organizations. (See page 2A).
Currently, Rockdale Resources has about 500 acres leased south of the airport. “Hopefully we’re going to be in the market for leasing additional land,” Spezialy said.
HISTORIC—The Minerva Rockdale Field traces its origin to 1921 when a seven-barrel-per day well was brought in.
By 1923 there were over 150 wells producing.
By 2011, exactly 90 years after the first Minerva-Rockdale well began production, the field had produced 7.4 million barrels of oil and approximately 1,400 wells had been drilled.