Eagle Ford Hotels: Down But Not Out

Temporary Housing in  Eagle Ford
Temporary Housing in Eagle Ford

The temporary housing market for oilfield workers in the Eagle Ford is hanging on despite slower demand.

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At the peak of the shale boom, Eagle Ford hotels, lodges and man camps could barely keep up with demand, as workers flooded the region for work and needed a place to stay. According to the Texas Comptroller of Public Accounts, temporary housing in the Eagle Ford increased more than 270 percent to 7,860 rooms since 2008.

At the height of the boom, many of these housing providers were able to set their prices and sometimes, even turn away customers. But today, its a different story. Producers have scaled back operations as they wait out the current pricing environment, which means fewer workers in the field that need housing. Supply has outstripped demand and rooms that once rented for $300 a night, may now only cost $75.

Things are hardly bleak, however. New numbers by the Comptroller's Office, show lodging providers in the Eagle Ford took in $63 million in revenue in the first quarter of the year, down 11 percent from the previous quarter, but a $5.1 million increase over 2014.

One company, InVision Housing Solutions LLC, is optimistic about the future and is working to raise $5 million in capital to build new oilfield worker housing at the Double C Resort just outside Carrizo Springs, Texas.

Michael Spencer, head of InVision, told San Antonio Business Journal that research shows that Carrizo Springs and surrounding Dimmit County remain the No. 1 drilling site in the Eagle Ford Shale. "

(Operators) drilled 4,000 to 5,000 wells around here,” Spencer said. “They have to keep taking care of them.