You may be curious to know exactly how some folks are getting rich from the Texas oil boom, and better yet, what you can do to ride the wave. The KPRC-TV report provides a concise look at how development of the oil-rich Eagle Ford formation has brought wealth to the small South Texas town of Three Rivers. The story also provides a hint at an industry segment some locals suggest would be a money-maker.
Boom Times in Three Rivers, TX
Prior to the beginning of the boom in 2008, Three Rivers, which is about 70 miles South of San Antonio, TX, was a sleepy little town, but that has all changed. For local residents "oil money" has changed their lives and the town in which they live. Recently, Three Rivers built an $11-million dollar junior-senior high school from tax revenues derived from oil & gas development. And some locals with mineral rights in the area have benefitted greatly from lease bonuses and "mailbox money" (i.e. royalty payments) from oil & gas production.
According to the University of Texas at San Antonio, the Eagle Ford Shale had a $61 billion economic impact across a 20-county area in 2012. That's a big chunk of change, and the money is mostly funneling into the pockets of oil & gas company executives, tertiary industry, the general workforce, mineral owners, investors and shrewd businessmen.
Getting Rich from the Eagle Ford Shale
So, the question is, what can you do to make money from the Eagle Ford boom? The best thing to do now for the majority of folks is go to work in the field, or open a business that serves the needs of the workforce. Certainly, everyone has different circumstances to consider, and not everyone has the necessary capital to open a business, but the money is there for the taking - you just have to be willing to work hard for it.
Oil patch jobs have provided individuals and families with lucrative salaries. Some rig workers can make upwards of 80k - 120k annually. Experience counts for certain positions, but entry-level opportunities can still be had as development continues to ramp up in the region. CDL Drivers are also in high demand in the Eagle Ford for hauling crude, supplies, frack water, etc. Their salaries can also top six figures.
Due to Eagle Ford development being concentrated in mainly remote areas, a growing workforce exists without access to a wide variety of amenities (i.e. washaterias, restaurants, grocery stores, etc.). Opportunities for investors to get on-board with projects in the service industry have the potential for paying off, at least up-front while there is less competition.