Tribpedia: Oil And Natural Gas

Tribpedia

For more than 100 years, Texas has been one of the nation’s key producers of oil and natural gas. After the discovery of the Spindletop oil field in 1901, oil production in the state increased at a rapid rate, reaching a peak in 1972. According to the Energy Information Administration, Texas was producing 3.4 million barrels a day ...

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As Oil Prices Plunge, Texas Eyes Are on Hegar

Glenn Hegar (far right) stands with chief revenue estimators past and future. From left: Dale Craymer, Billy Hamilton and Tom Currah, the incoming estimator.
Glenn Hegar (far right) stands with chief revenue estimators past and future. From left: Dale Craymer, Billy Hamilton and Tom Currah, the incoming estimator.

Incoming Comptroller Glenn Hegar is on the hot seat as a nosedive in crude oil prices – and the increasingly gloomy forecasts that have followed – cast a pall over the next legislative session. Less than two weeks after taking office, Hegar must divine what the future holds.

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.

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, or fracking. 

A view of the Houston Ship Channel from the back of the Sam Houston tour boat in Feb. 2014.
A view of the Houston Ship Channel from the back of the Sam Houston tour boat in Feb. 2014.

Politics of Climate Change in Texas Have Shifted

Texas leaders weren't always so skeptical about climate change. But the state's rightward shift, coupled with a booming oil and gas economy, have changed the tenor of the debate. Scientists and environmental advocates say that's a growing problem for Texas, the country's biggest climate polluter. This story was produced in collaboration with The World, a program by Public Radio International.

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.



A gas well last fracked in March sits less than 400 feet from a home in Denton, which just became Texas' first city to ban fracking.
A gas well last fracked in March sits less than 400 feet from a home in Denton, which just became Texas' first city to ban fracking.

Courts Will Take Up Case of Fracking v. Drilling

Legal wrangling will settle challenges to Denton's newly passed fracking ban, and give Texans a free course on the widely mischaracterized oilfield technique that has put Texas at the forefront a national energy boom.

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.

Fracking in Fort Worth, Sept. 27, 2013
Fracking in Fort Worth, Sept. 27, 2013

First Lawsuits Filed Over Denton's New Fracking Ban

Just hours after Denton voted to ban hydraulic fracturing, the state’s General Land Office and biggest petroleum group filed off legal challenges to the new rule. The Texas Oil and Gas Association called the ban unconstitutional, saying it supercedes state law and deprives mineral owners of their property rights.

 

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.