Eagle Ford Boom Bad News for County Roads – KENS-TV – Video

Less than 1% of Right of Way Royalties Returned to Local County Governments for Road Maintenance

The Eagle Ford oil boom has been a boon on the Texas economy, injecting billions of dollars in revenue from oil & gas companies into the state’s budget. By contrast, local county governments have not seen parallel increases for their coffers, although money derived from local tax revenues and drilling fees, in some instances, have padded local county budgets.

Read more: Riches from the Eagle Ford Boom – Video

One of the most serious problems for local county governments is a direct result of the increased traffic on their roads. According to a recent KENS-TV story, it takes 1,200 18-wheelers  to set up a rig, and another 350 trucks during the life of the rig for maintenance. Karnes County and DeWitt County, which are both in the heart of the oil window of the play, have consistently had active rig counts between 20 – 30, since the beginning of the year, which has equated to a lot of traffic on roads not designed for such heavy loads.

In the past 3 ½ years, $28,000,000 has gone directly to the state through right of way royalties, but less than 1% has been returned for road maintenance. Karnes and DeWitt County have forked over $16-million during the same time frame, according to the report.

Local county officials are fed up with not receiving what they feel is more adequate funding from the state for road maintenance in their areas. Now, there is talk about a coalition of county governments being formed to demand more money from Austin.

Good CDL Drivers Needed in the Eagle Ford Shale Play

Good Training Programs are Important in Making Sure Safe Drivers are on the Roads
18 Wheeler Side Shot Del Mar College

CDL Training Truck | Click to Enlarge

South Texas has had a huge CDL driver shortage even before Eagle Ford Shale. Currently there are 150,000 CDL drivers needed nationwide. The American Trucking Associations have predicted the driver shortage will jump to 300,000 by the year 2014. Many companies are finding it more and more challenging to attract experienced CDL drivers due to the huge demand. CDL holders are held to a much higher standard than regular licensed drivers and must keep their driving records in good standing.

Hiring good experienced drivers is very challenging because companies have to be especially strict about driving records, accidents and Department of Transportation violations. This is because of CSA (Compliance, Safety, Accountability) scores. CSA was established to keep accurate statistics of accidents, DOT violations, unsafe equipment and driving habits. CSA scores the safety performance of both the driver and the driver’s company. If a driver receives an unsatisfactory vehicle inspection and receives a violation, it will stay on the individual’s CSA score for three years and the company  that employed the driver at the time for two years. Under CSA’s new system that score will travel with the driver to whatever company the driver may transfer to over those three years. Having a negative CSA score increases the chance of receiving a DOT audit and can be very costly to both the driver and the employer. [Read more…]