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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Pipeline Companies Paying More to Cross Private Land

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.

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 a $225 million grant program aimed at repairing roads damaged by oilfield traffic. 

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. 

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.

 

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. 

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

Some counties are happier than others after the Texas Department of Transportation released estimates of state aid to help fix roads damaged amid the state's oil and gas boom. 

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.

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

Oil and gas representatives, along with academics, gathered in Laredo this week to discuss the economic benefits of the drilling boom in the Eagle Ford Shale. But concerns over the environmental impact of the boom persist.

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.

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. 

A recently installed, working pump jack sits near wind turbines in the Cline Shale region, near Maryneal south of Sweetwater.
A recently installed, working pump jack sits near wind turbines in the Cline Shale region, near Maryneal south of Sweetwater.

In Texas and Nationwide, Many Shales Left to Explore

Texas is already the top oil-producing state — and excitement about a new era is pervasive, thanks in part to improved technology. Exploration of new shales like the Cline in West Texas is underway, and some oilmen say it's like the old wildcatting days.

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

Cash for Road Repair in Shale Areas Proves Elusive

Efforts by state lawmakers to find money to repair South and West Texas roads torn up amid a drilling boom appear to be stalling, according to some officials working on the matter. Officials warn about the hazards of not maintaining these roads.

Field distribution water tank used in the fracking process of natural gas well drilling in DeWitt County, Texas, complete with life buoy and "No Swimming" sign.
Field distribution water tank used in the fracking process of natural gas well drilling in DeWitt County, Texas, complete with life buoy and "No Swimming" sign.

Texas Senators Discuss Fracking Groundwater Rules

Should groundwater districts be allowed to require permits for drilling companies wanting to withdraw water for hydraulic fracturing? Oil companies oppose the idea, and on Tuesday, the Senate Natural Resources Committee debated the issue.