Texas and oil: two words with a long association in the American consciousness -- for good reason. Texas is our leading crude oil production state and has been called the birthplace of the modern oil industry. And with three large shale gas plays in state -- Barnett, Haynesville and Eagle Ford -- Texas will continue to be a major energy supplier for years to come.
The Eagle Ford, where the first well was drilled only three years ago, is already producing more than 100,000 barrels a day and could reach 420,000 by 2015, almost as much as Ecuador, according to Bentek Energy, a consultancy.
Shale: Supporting Texas Communities
In 2010 development in the Eagle Ford shale gas created almost 7,000 jobs paying over $300 million in salaries. And this is just the beginning:
[T]he UTSA study estimates that by 2020, 5,000 new wells will be drilled, and the Eagle Ford will support almost 68,000 full-time jobs, account for almost $21.5 billion in total annual economic output, and add almost $1.2 billion to Texas' revenues.
Moving beyond oil, the Barnett shale gas is one of the largest producing natural-gas fields in the United States and has "added a new dimension to the north Texas economy, supporting thousands of jobs and generating millions in tax revenue for local governments and school districts." Drilling and production activity in the Barnett shale supports over 110,000 jobs and has added $6 billion to the local property tax base. In the Barnett, as in Eagle Ford:
The economic transformation is the result of a new drilling method, hydraulic fracturing, combined with horizontal drilling, that allows companies to extract oil and gas from impermeable layers of shale.
Jobs, growth and a new lease on energy in a state known for it: that is the promise of hydraulic fracturing.