Tribpedia: The Eagle Ford Shale

Tribpedia

A Historic Boom

A band of counties extending northeast across South Texas is home to one of the world’s great energy booms and is a major part of the biggest one-year jump in domestic oil production in U.S. history. This relatively new burst of drilling activity, in the geological formation known as the Eagle Ford Shale, has already ...

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TxDOT Ends Program That Converts Paved Roads to Gravel

Before and after images of of the frontage road on I-37 in Live Oak County. The Texas Department of Transportation converted the badly-damaged asphalt road to an unpaved road the week of August 19, 2013.
Before and after images of of the frontage road on I-37 in Live Oak County. The Texas Department of Transportation converted the badly-damaged asphalt road to an unpaved road the week of August 19, 2013.

The Texas Department of Transportation has ended its controversial program aimed at converting some badly damaged paved roads to gravel, more than a year after the launch of the initiative drew national attention to the agency's budget troubles.

 

 

Don Tymrak, city manager of Karnes City, in his downtown office. He says the recent tumble in oil prices shouldn't affect the South Texas city's conservative plans for development – at least not yet.
Don Tymrak, city manager of Karnes City, in his downtown office. He says the recent tumble in oil prices shouldn't affect the South Texas city's conservative plans for development – at least not yet.

Oil Price Tremors Not Rattling Texas. Yet.

A steep drop in crude oil prices threatens to slow drilling in some U.S. oilfields, but officials in Texas' hottest shale plays say they're not sweating things yet. The boom is still a boom, they say, and it's way too early to walk away.

Paul Baumann's property, owned by his family for generations, is directly next to a proposed drilling waste dump in the small town of Nordheim. He, along with other concerned citizens, are protesting the dump as they fear it will pollute and ruin their way of life.
Paul Baumann's property, owned by his family for generations, is directly next to a proposed drilling waste dump in the small town of Nordheim. He, along with other concerned citizens, are protesting the dump as they fear it will pollute and ruin their way of life.

Drilling Waste Site Roils Tiny Nordheim

Nordheim, population 307, is the site of one of the first organized protests in the heart of the Eagle Ford. Many of its residents are fighting to keep out a massive disposal facility for oil and gas waste — a sight that could become more common as energy producers search for places to dispose of their leftovers.

 

Oil and gas companies are having to pay more to run pipelines under private property.
Oil and gas companies are having to pay more to run pipelines under private property.

Pipeline Companies Paying More to Cross Private Land

As pipeline companies scramble to provide infrastructure for the energy boom, they are paying more to build pipelines across private property. Experts say a series of cases in which juries awarded large payments to property owners are helping drive the trend.

 

Each day, dozens of trucks hook up to the Gulf Coast-run fracking fluid disposal well site near Gonzales, Texas.
Each day, dozens of trucks hook up to the Gulf Coast-run fracking fluid disposal well site near Gonzales, Texas.

Railroad Commission Sides With Driller on Well Protest

UPDATED: The Railroad Commission on Thursday sided with Marathon Oil Company’s bid to dismiss a groundwater conservation district’s protest of its application to inject waste into part of South Texas’ Carrizo-Wilcox aquifer.

A natural gas drilling boom in the Eagle Ford Shale area in South Texas is straining the area's rural roads as more than 1,000 loaded trucks are needed to bring a single well into production.
A natural gas drilling boom in the Eagle Ford Shale area in South Texas is straining the area's rural roads as more than 1,000 loaded trucks are needed to bring a single well into production.

Lawsuit Over Road Funding Program Leaves Funds in Limbo

LaSalle County, which is in the heart of the Eagle Ford Shale, has sued the Texas Department of Transportation over the administration of a $225 million grant program aimed at repairing roads damaged by oilfield traffic. TxDOT says the program is being handled properly.

An oil & gas drilling rig is drilling a well for Pioneer Natural Resources in the Eagle Ford Shale formation near Yorktown.
An oil & gas drilling rig is drilling a well for Pioneer Natural Resources in the Eagle Ford Shale formation near Yorktown.

Report: Air Quality to Worsen in Eagle Ford Shale

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A newly released but largely unnoticed study commissioned by the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality makes some dire predictions about what will happen to air quality in South Texas as the Eagle Ford Shale boom continues. 

An oil & gas drilling rig is drilling a well for Pioneer Natural Resources in the Eagle Ford Shale formation near Yorktown.
An oil & gas drilling rig is drilling a well for Pioneer Natural Resources in the Eagle Ford Shale formation near Yorktown.

Visualization: Water for Fracking in Ten Texas Counties

In drought-stricken regions of Texas, some oil and gas companies could be at risk of depleting their own water supplies. Explore how much water was used for fracking in 10 Texas counties in 2012. In some counties, fracking water use in 2012 equaled at least half of the county's entire water usage in 2011. 

Hugh Fitzsimons surveys the old windmill that pumps at two gallons a minute to fill the pila that then feeds the water trough for his bison and wildlife at SHAPE Ranch in Carrizo Springs, TX, February, 21, 2013.
Hugh Fitzsimons surveys the old windmill that pumps at two gallons a minute to fill the pila that then feeds the water trough for his bison and wildlife at SHAPE Ranch in Carrizo Springs, TX, February, 21, 2013.

Report: Water Availability a Risk for Oil, Gas Drillers

A new national report on water use for hydraulic fracturing suggests that oil and gas companies are at risk of running short on the precious resource — especially in South Texas.

 

A natural gas compressor station located near La Grange, Texas, on Jan. 29, 2014.
A natural gas compressor station located near La Grange, Texas, on Jan. 29, 2014.

Anti-Regulation Politics May Have Hurt Energy Industry

Texas' anti-regulation stance may have hurt business when the state refused to issue required greenhouse permits for almost two years. Energy companies had to delay large industry facilities that needed the permits. As a result, they say, they have been unable to take full advantage of the area's shale boom.

Part time senior fire fighter Richard Prado responds to a radio call about a dumpster fire at Pat's RV Park on Main St in Cotulla, a man camp that houses oil field workers, during his 24 hour shift at the La Salle County Fire Department, Thursday, January 23, 2014. Park owner Pat Niaves assists him with the hose since he is working the shift alone.
Part time senior fire fighter Richard Prado responds to a radio call about a dumpster fire at Pat's RV Park on Main St in Cotulla, a man camp that houses oil field workers, during his 24 hour shift at the La Salle County Fire Department, Thursday, January 23, 2014. Park owner Pat Niaves assists him with the hose since he is working the shift alone.

Fire Department Bolstered as Boom Presents Hazards

As oil booms in La Salle County, so have 911 calls. In response, officials have unleashed a plan to professionalize the county's firefighting forces, which had long relied on volunteers who were not equipped to handle the increased workload. Officials hope the county will become a model for similar communities in Texas.

A natural gas drilling boom in the Eagle Ford Shale area in South Texas is straining the area's rural roads as more than 1,000 loaded trucks are needed to bring a single well into production.
A natural gas drilling boom in the Eagle Ford Shale area in South Texas is straining the area's rural roads as more than 1,000 loaded trucks are needed to bring a single well into production.

Road Funding Figures Surprise Some Counties

Nearly every Texas county appears to be eligible for some state aid under a $225 million plan to help repair roads damaged amid the oil and gas boom. Some are happier about their allocations than others. 

A damaged portion of the IH 37 frontage road, south of  FM 99 in Live Oak County, Texas on Friday, August 16, 2013. The road is on a list of roads that the Texas Department of Transportation has announced will be converted to gravel because the agency lacks funds to keep them maintained at a safe level.
A damaged portion of the IH 37 frontage road, south of FM 99 in Live Oak County, Texas on Friday, August 16, 2013. The road is on a list of roads that the Texas Department of Transportation has announced will be converted to gravel because the agency lacks funds to keep them maintained at a safe level.

South Texas County Gets Off TxDOT's Gravel List

La Salle County officials have agreed to pay a portion of the repair costs and all the maintenance costs for 20 miles of roads that the Texas Department of Transportation had intended to convert to gravel.

Jonathan Jones, Field Supervisor for Water Rescue Services, holding partially cleaned fracking waste water.
Jonathan Jones, Field Supervisor for Water Rescue Services, holding partially cleaned fracking waste water.

Water Recycling Minimal but Growing on Texas Oilfields

As the drought continues to take its toll across the state, more oil and gas companies are considering the long-term benefits of water recycling, and state officials are trying to make that transition easier. Despite that momentum, recycling is far from a mainstream practice.

 

A hydraulic fracturing site in Fort Worth on Sept. 27, 2013.
A hydraulic fracturing site in Fort Worth on Sept. 27, 2013.

Dallas Debate Shows City Power to Limit Drilling

Dallas is considering new rules that industry backers say would effectively prevent all drilling within city limits. The debate demonstrates cities' power to shape the footprint of an industry, providing openings — even in oil-friendly Texas — to groups pushing tighter rules.

TribWeek: Top Texas News for the Week of 9/02/13

Hamilton on UT rolling out some online learning opportunities for non-UT students, Ramsey on the challenges for some political candidates to gain traction, MacLaggan details a county's efforts to ensure the census counts all its residents, Murphy updates our campaign finance analyzer, Aguilar examines a case that could impact property rights along the border, Satija looks at benefits and challenges tied to the Eagle Ford Shale, and Batheja writes about three counties getting the OK to raise vehicle registration fees: The best of our best for the week of Sept. 2 to 6, 2013.

An oil & gas drilling rig is drilling a well for Pioneer Natural Resources in the Eagle Ford Shale formation near Yorktown.
An oil & gas drilling rig is drilling a well for Pioneer Natural Resources in the Eagle Ford Shale formation near Yorktown.

Eagle Ford Shale Region Sees Benefits, Concerns

The drilling boom in the Eagle Ford Shale has transformed communities across the shale's 20-county region, particularly in South Texas. But concerns over the environmental impact persist. That was clear when oil and gas representatives, along with academics, discussed the economic benefits of the boom at a Laredo forum.

Texas Transportation Commission chair Ted Houghton, l, confers with TXDOT Executive Director Phil Wilson during the meeting on August 29, 2013 regarding budget shortfalls.
Texas Transportation Commission chair Ted Houghton, l, confers with TXDOT Executive Director Phil Wilson during the meeting on August 29, 2013 regarding budget shortfalls.

TxDOT Officials Address Concerns on Cost-Cutting Plans

During a meeting when local and state officials accused the agency of poor communication, Texas Department of Transportation officials confirmed plans Thursday to delay converting more asphalt roads to gravel.

San Antonio Considers Shale Drilling's Effect on Ozone

As the ozone rating in San Antonio continues its slow upward march, area officials are beginning to investigate whether oil and gas drilling in the Eagle Ford Shale has anything to do with it. But they remain far from answers in what is sure to be a high-stakes debate over the environmental impact of one of the country’s newest and fastest-growing oil and gas development regions.

 

 

Fix for Roads in Shale Counties Might Be Short

Lawmakers allocated $450 million this session to repairing roads destroyed by truck activity resulting from the drilling boom in South and West Texas. The Legislature likely isn't done with the issue, though, because the amount is much less than advocates said was needed, and the problem is on track to grow.

A worker waits to load a piece of pipe, or casing, that will be lowered into the well at a Chesapeake Energy drill site in Dimmit County, Texas in the Eagle Ford Shale.
A worker waits to load a piece of pipe, or casing, that will be lowered into the well at a Chesapeake Energy drill site in Dimmit County, Texas in the Eagle Ford Shale.

Shale Boom Has Major Impact on Texas' Budget

Besides boosting the economies of remote towns, the shale boom has big implications for the Texas economy and budget. Already, taxes on oil and gas production have soared above the comptroller’s estimates. Analysts say sales and property taxes are also set for gains, if oil prices stay high.