South Texas Income on the Rise as the Eagle Ford Booms

Eagle Ford Counties' Income
Eagle Ford Counties' Income

The average income in South Texas is on the rise. Per capita income increased more than 13% across Eagle Ford counties from 2008 to 2011. I'm willing to bet the average income went up again in 2012 as even more Eagle Ford jobs were created.

Personal income in Texas has benefited from the oil boom, but residents of counties in South Texas have seen the average income grow at a rate almost ten times faster. The average income in Texas grew 1.34% from 2008-2011, but income in Eagle Ford counties grew 13.64%.

Read the full story from Jennifer Hiller at

Highlights From Palo Alto College Oil & Gas Event

Eagle Ford Event Registration Line Photo
Eagle Ford Event Registration Line Photo

An event called "Empower Your Industry Knowledge" was held January 9th at Palo Alto College in San Antonio. Local constituents and representatives from TCU's Energy Institute were on hand.

You can stay up to date on regional meetings at our Eagle Ford Events page.

Here are a few highlights from the meeting:

  • The Eagle Ford is still in the early stages of development
  • Landman are still working the area of understanding of the play expands
  • Expectations are for the Eagle Ford to dwarf other plays in terms of oil production
  • Almost 30% of US oil & gas spend will be directed to the Eagle Ford
  • Housing issues are still being addressed
  • Training programs are being established
  • Natural gas will gain market share and should make the Eagle Ford's gas window more valuable

Read more from Jennifer Hiller's coverage at

South Texas Truck Driver Shortage Spreading Across the U.S.

Oil Tanker on the Highway
Oil Tanker on the Highway

The South Texas truck driver shortage isn't alone. The American Trucking Association estimates the industry is short as many as 30,000 drivers across the country. The problem is compounded by high turnover rates: 70-90% a year. In South Texas, the high turnover rate is probably the only reason oil companies have been able to hire as many drivers as they have. It is school systems who can't hire bus drivers and local distributors who don't compete in pay that are struggling to find qualified personnel.

Average pay for an entry level truck driver ranges from $36,000-$45,000, but it rises to $50,000-$70,000 in the oilfield. Drivers work longer hours and spend time away from home, but for many the time away is offset by paychecks that twice that of typical jobs. Don't expect those pay rates to fall any time soon. It is more likely that rates for driving jobs outside of the oilfield will rise in response. If you have an interest in working in the oilfield, visit our Eagle Ford Truck Driving Jobs page.

Read the full article at

Pleasanton's Eagle Ford Shale Location Primes it for Growth

Pleasanton TX Map
Pleasanton TX Map

Pleasanton is located near the heart of the Eagle Ford Shale in Atascosa County, just 35 miles south of San Antonio. The city's location provides a strategic hub for many oil & gas companies working the play. Jennifer Hiller published an article over the weekend highlighting development in the area. You can read the full article at

Highlights from the article include:

  • The population sign says 8,622, but utility hookups indicate the population is 11,500+
  • Rentals have gone from $0.60-0.70 per sq ft/month to as high as $1.50 per sq ft/month
  • The city enacted a 180-day moratorium on new RV parks
  • Sales tax revenues were less than $2.1 million in 2010 and have already surpassed $3.5 million this year

Eagle Ford Catering is Big Business in South Texas

Monster BBQ Kitchen Pulled Pork
Monster BBQ Kitchen Pulled Pork

With an influx of almost 50,000 workers related to the Eagle Ford Shale, South Texas catering is becoming big business. Delivering and serving food isn't quite as visible as a rig that breaks the horizon, but many would say it's just as important. Twelve hour shifts mean there isn't much time spent away from the job, so many companies are happy to cater meals as often as budgets allow.

This, not so visible, portion of the restaurant industry is often the cash cow that keeps the doors open.  I knew several restaurants when the Haynesville Shale was booming that broke even in the brick and mortar store and made all of their margin in the field catering events.

It's also the reason many specialty caterers are serving the area. They aren't what you'd expect either. Many run mobile kitchens just as nice or nicer than the typical restaurant and have certified chefs working the stove top. There's no microwave keeping the food warm. It's just plain good cooking.

If you're looking for a caterer in South Texas, you'll find just what you need in the Restaurants and Catering Category in the Eagle Ford Shale MarketPlace. Our preferred caterers include:

  • TJ's Chuck Wagon (210.262.4200)
  • Boathouse Bakery & Bistro (210.896.6506)
  • Monster BBQ & Kitchen (210.392.4058)

Catering for big corporate clients is luring businesses from San Antonio. My SA published an article detailing developments of the General Store in Pearsall. I've included a few quotes and a link to the article below:

..the company currently has two contracts along Interstate 35 with two different oil companies. He expects to have as many as 12 contracts within a year, which would mean providing meals to thousands of workers.

Strange did not say how much the contracts were worth, only that it was “a lot of money.”

He said each catering contract will require six employees, who will be current staffers of Don Strange of Texas in San Antonio and will stay in the contracted area. Strange said the company will provide pull-behind trailers for those workers to live in while catering on the oil fields.

The demand for food in the Eagle Ford is benefiting other caterers in San Antonio, as well.