Texas is full of ghost towns, but the Eagle Ford Shale, is breathing life back into one of them in the heart of the play.
Recently, the San Antonio Express News published an interesting story about the tiny ghost town of Helena, TX, in Karnes County. The Karnes Trough area, which is generally considered the best area of the play in the oil window, has resulted in Karnes County consistently having the highest weekly rig count compared to all other Eagle Ford Shale Counties for the past year. Currently, there are 35 active rigs in the area. The result of all that drilling – money, and lots of it, in the form of royalty checks, taxes, etc., directly injected into Karnes County.
Eagle Ford Ghost Town – Helena, TX
Helena, TX, which is about 70 miles southeast of San Antonio, had a colorful past, and was once known as the self-proclaimed “toughest town on earth.” Prior to the boom, the town’s buildings had largely fallen into disrepair, but that all changed with the Eagle Ford Shale. According to the paper, the Karnes County Historical Society owns 16 acres in Helena, all leased to Marathon Oil, and intends to use royalty monies to continue much needed repairs to buildings. The stone courthouse, now a museum, has received funding from long-time Karnes County ranching families, who have benefited from oil wealth, paying for restoration work.
Ultimately, Helena, TX, is an interesting litmus test of the areas newly found wealth. Can you imagine living in an area where ghost towns start coming back to life? At least for now, those living in Karnes County, TX, are seeing it happen, and it’s thanks to the Eagle Ford Shale.