Study: Oil and Gas Still Essential to Eagle Ford Shale Economy

Eagle Ford Shale Economy

The negative economic impact felt throughout the Eagle Ford Shale after the oil price bust of 2014-2015 bottomed out last year, according to a new study. Though the region experienced significant losses, oil and gas activity is still essential to local county economies.

Bankruptcies Spike Across Texas; Shrink for Oil & Gas

The 2017 Eagle Ford Shale Economic Impact Study, published in June, provides the most up-to-date data on the economic impact of the oil and gas activity over the region for 2014, 2015 and 2016. 

A team of researchers led by Dr. Thomas Tunstall examined the 21-county area as a whole including Atascosa, Bee, DeWitt, Dimmit, Frio, Gonzales, Karnes, La Salle, Lavaca, Live Oak, McMullen, Maverick, Webb, Wilson, and Zavala, Bexar, Jim Wells, Nueces, San Patricio, Victoria, and Uvalde. Dr. Tunstall summed up the study by saying that the region's decrease in economic impact bottomed out in 2016 and appears to have turned the corner.

Highlights from the Study 

  • Gross output from Eagle Ford activity jumped from $87 billion in 2013 to $123 billion in 2014
  • Gross output fell to $80 billion in 2015
  • Gross output fell again in 2016 to $50 billion
  • Jobs supported by the Eagle Ford fell from 191,153 in 2014 to 108,213 in 2016
  • Industry sectors have grown in the area that are associated with oil and gas activity
Although we experienced a decrease in jobs and economic impact in 2015 and 2016, we continue to see that the oil and gas industry is essential to the livelihood of South Texas. With more than 100,000 jobs and $55 billion in economic output last year, the results of the UTSA study further illustrates the importance of the oil and gas industry to South Texans.
— Omar Garcia, President and CEO of STEER

The study was commissioned by the South Texas Energy and Economic Roundtable (STEER), The University of Texas at San Antonio's (UTSA) Center for Community and Business Research (CCBR). The research team plans a second phase of research for all 21 counties individually and compares inter- industry relationships from 2010-2015. The comparison of different multipliers demonstrates how employment and production have been affected in the area.