By Velda Addison, Hart Energy

Everything is bigger in Texas, as the saying goes, and that appears to be the case when it comes to oil production.

The latest feat was reached in the Eagle Shale play, which produced its billionth barrel of crude and condensate in November.

An infographic from the Wood Mackenzie consultancy highlighted some of the milestones reached in the Eagle Ford. The 1 Bbbl produced:

  • Supported 155,000 full-time jobs;
  • Represented four years of gasoline for every licensed driver in Texas; and
  • Represented more than 10,000 wells completed.

The amount of oil produced made up 16% of the total U.S. oil production, according to Wood Mackenzie.

But Eagle Ford production appears to have started falling in recent months.

Citing Texas Railroad Commission statistics, Hart Energy’s Unconventional Oil & Gas Center reported this month that Eagle Ford production appeared to start dropping in August, decreasing slightly from 2.24 MMbbl/d in July to 2.23 MMbbl/d in August. Production fell again in September, going to 2.19 MMbbl/d.

A closer look at the Eagle Ford region shows a dramatic drop in legacy production (down 131,000 bbl/d), while oil production from new wells increased 161,000 bbl/d when comparing January to December, according to the latest production statistics from the U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA).

Overall, the EIA projects production to reach about 1.655 MMbbl/d in the Eagle Ford this month and increase slightly to 1.685 MMbbl/d in January 2015. But the forecast production won’t surpass the Permian, where oil production is predicted to be 1.824 MMbbl/d in December. That could jump to 1.87 MMbbl/d in January 2015.

Oil production in the Bakken region is also expected to grow slightly, going from 1.224 MMbbl/d in December to 1.251 MMbbl/d in January 2015.

The report, which the EIA said uses recent data on the total number of drilling rigs in operation combined with estimates of drilling productivity and estimated changes from existing oil and gas wells, is intended to shed light on possible oil and gas production changes for the seven key regions in the U.S. Besides the three previously mentioned, the others are the Haynesville, Marcellus, Niobrara and Utica.

When it comes to natural gas production, the leader of the pack is the Marcellus.

The report showed gas production was projected to be about 480 MMcm/d (16 Bcf/d) for December 2014. That number is expected to jump to 489 MMcm/d (16.3 Bcf/d) in January 2015.

Not too far behind the Marcellus was the Eagle Ford Shale, where gas production is predicted to be 219 MMcm/d (7.3 Bcf/d) this month, rising to 222 MMcm/d (7.4 Bcf/d) in January 2014.

Rounding out the top three for gas production is the Haynesville with 204 MMcm/d (6.8 Bcf/d) of gas production expected in December. Projections are for production to increase to 207 MMcm/d (6.9 Bcf/d) next month.

The oil and gas industry in the U.S. has certainly done a good job in reducing its reliance on others to meet its energy needs, mainly thanks to technologies such as horizontal drilling and hydraulic fracturing that have made getting these hydrocarbon resources out of the ground possible.

It looks like next year could be off to a good start, if the predictions hold true.

Contact the author, Velda Addison, at