Oil booms have a way of creating stories that will be told for generations. We're still talking about the 1980s boom that changed the lives of so many. We're experiencing it again with the Eagle Ford. It feels different this time, but that in itself is a scary phrase. This Caller article brought back some fond boom time memories and some not so fond memories of the recession.
In the 1980s, when the price of oil had collapsed and the good times of the oil patch seemed like history, a bumper sticker adorned many autos. "Dear God, just give me one more oil boom. I promise not to blow it next time." Well, the good Lord seems to have answered that prayer with the Eagle Ford Shale formation.
On a map of Texas, the Eagle Ford Shale formation looks like a slice of cantaloupe, about 50 miles wide and 400 miles long, stretching from the Mexican border around Webb and Maverick counties with the slice curving northeast. It covers 24 counties, including Live Oak, McMullen and Bee. The Eagle Ford could potentially be one of the most productive oil and gas formations in Texas and thus one of the richest.
Two years ago, there were fewer than 100 permits issued to drill in the Eagle Ford area; now there are more than a thousand. The Texas Railroad Commission says that since 2009 when the first well was drilled in the Eagle Ford, jobs associated with it have produced some $500 million in salaries. There has been $3 billion in total revenue. By 2020, the drilling bonanza could produce up to 70,000 jobs.
The key to the opening of the Eagle Ford and other shale deposits has been a technological drilling breakthrough for extracting oil and gas which was previously not thought possible.
No doubt about it, the Eagle Ford could be one of the area's blessings. How will we deal with this second chance at widespread prosperity?
Share your comments below - We'd love to hear stories you have from the 1980s and how they compare to today.