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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Dissecting Denton: How a Texas City Banned Fracking

State lawmakers, the oil and gas industry and national environmental groups are asking deep questions about Denton, home to two universities, 277 gas wells and now, thanks to a rag-tag group of local activists, Texas’ first ban on hydraulic fracturing.
State lawmakers, the oil and gas industry and national environmental groups are asking deep questions about Denton, home to two universities, 277 gas wells and now, thanks to a rag-tag group of local activists, Texas’ first ban on hydraulic fracturing.

State lawmakers, the oil and gas industry and national environmental groups are asking deep questions about Denton, home to two universities, 277 gas wells and, now, thanks to a rag-tag group of local activists, Texas’ first ban on hydraulic fracturing, or fracking. 

Drilling Brings Rise in Health Complaints

While drilling for oil and gas has exploded across Texas, residents and environmental advocates allege that state regulators haven't kept up with complaints about negative health effects. Regulators say they've stepped up enforcement, but dispute that airborne emissions from oil and gas drilling pose a threat to health. This story is part of our Shale Life project. 

Texas' Emptiest County Filling Up with Oil Workers

The smallest county in Texas may not hold that distinction for much longer. Loving County has about 90 people but swells by hundreds each day due to a flood of oil workers. While some complain about the surge in drilling trucks, others see the oil boom as a lifeline from extinction. This video is part of our Shale Life project. 

Counting Heads in the Eagle Ford Shale is No Easy Task

How many people have moved to the Eagle Ford Shale as a result of its energy boom? That’s a tough question to answer. While thousands of people have flocked to the region for new jobs, the transient nature of the work presents a big challenge for local leaders, who struggle to plan for housing, schools, pipelines and roads. This animation is part of our Shale Life project.

Cost of Living Straps West Texans Without Oilfield Jobs

Across West Texas, wages are soaring for oil and gas industry workers — but so is the cost of living. For those who don’t hold top-dollar energy jobs, just paying the rent has gotten tough. In the middle of this multibillion-dollar boom sits Breaking Bread Kitchen, a community center that opens for one hour every night to provide free hot meals to residents who need them. This video is part of our Shale Life project.



Oil Boom Presents Challenges for Longtime Crop Dusters

Grant Swartz has spent much of the last decade in the air, as an agriculture pilot dusting crops over rural Glasscock County. That’s been long enough to see the oil and gas boom drastically alter the landscape of his community east of Midland. What was once a simple flight is now an obstacle course peppered with rigs, miles and miles of power lines and crews of oilfield workers on the ground. This video is part of our Shale Life project.

Eagle Ford Traffic Clogs a Lifeline

The Southwest Area Regional Transit District, a 33-year-old organization financed largely through state grants, helps shuttle people who cannot otherwise get to their medical appointments. But a rush to the Eagle Ford Shale — the oil-rich fields that have brought prosperity to many — is clogging that lifeline. This story is part of our Shale Life project.

In Texas Boomtowns, More Traffic Means More Deaths

The newly cracked, chipped and crowded roads linking Texas boomtowns have meant more than just traffic jams for local commuters. They've also proved deadly. Each day, as thousands of 18-wheelers travel roads ill-prepared to handle them, drilling regions are seeing an increase in deadly accidents. This slideshow is part of our Shale Life project.

Emergency Responders Face Shale Boom Challenges

The surge in Texas energy production has brought a new set of hazards to communities facing the bulk of the drilling — including an increase in traffic accidents and chemical spills. That means more work for already understaffed emergency response units across small-town Texas. This video is part of our Shale Life project. 

Life Inside a Man Camp

Visit Custom Touch Village, a workforce lodging facility, or “man camp,” that has popped up to accommodate West Texas' transient oilfield workers. These temporary neighborhoods are common in the regions touched by Texas’ shale boom, where housing is in short supply and hotels are stuffed to the gills. This audio slideshow is part of our Shale Life project. 

State Rep. Poncho Nevárez, D-Eagle Pass, DeWitt County judge Daryl Fowler, environmental advocate Sister Elizabeth Riebschlsaeger and La Salle County judge Joel Rodriguez discuss air, water and road infrastucture.

Impact of the Shale Boom: Air, Water and Roads

State Rep. Poncho Nevárez, D-Eagle Pass, DeWitt County judge Daryl Fowler, environmental advocate Sister Elizabeth Riebschlsaeger and La Salle County judge Joel Rodriguez discuss air, water and road infrastucture.

State Sen. Carlos Uresti, Permian Basin Petroleum Association President Ben Shepperd, South Texas Energy & Economic Roundtable President Omar Garcia and Middle Rio Grande Development Council Executive Director Leo Martinez discuss the changing state of energy.

Impact of the Shale Boom: Changing State of Energy

State Sen. Carlos Uresti, Permian Basin Petroleum Association President Ben Shepperd, South Texas Energy & Economic Roundtable President Omar Garcia and Middle Rio Grande Development Council Executive Director Leo Martinez discuss the changing state of energy.

San Antonio Mayor Ivy Taylor, Midland Mayor Jerry Morales, Karnes City City Manager Don Tymrak and Thomas Tunstall from the Institute for Economic Development at UTSA will discuss the transformation of the Texas economy.

The Transformation of the Texas Economy

San Antonio Mayor Ivy Taylor, Midland Mayor Jerry Morales, Karnes City City Manager Don Tymrak and Thomas Tunstall from the Institute for Economic Development at UTSA will discuss the transformation of the Texas economy.

Understanding the Shale Boom

The oil and gas industry almost singlehandedly lifted Texas from the country’s last recession. But such booms come with unsettling questions: How long will the bonanza last? And will an eventual drop in oil prices decimate local economies — as has happened throughout Texas’ history? This story is part of our Shale Life project. 

 

The Shale Life Project

Where there’s oil and natural gas, there’s money to be made and jobs to be found. But the challenges these dramatic booms present for communities across South and West Texas are immense. Use our 15-part multimedia series — the result of more than six months of reporting from the state's most active shale plays — to see how surging energy production is changing lives and fortunes across Texas. 

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.

TxDOT Ends Program That Converts Paved Roads to Gravel

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.