Last year, the Eagle Ford Shale had a $61 billion impact and supported 116,000 jobs across a 20-county swath of South Texas – a once sleepy region increasingly defined by an oil and gas boom.
The latest numbers from an ongoing University of Texas at San Antonio study continue to show a ballooning financial effect as the industry races to drill oil wells in the region.
The results of the study were released Tuesday at a meeting of the Eagle Ford Shale Caucus at the Texas Legislature, a group of South Texas lawmakers hoping to bring attention to the road, water, health and other infrastructure needs brought on by the influx of workers and truck traffic into the region.
America’s Natural Gas Alliance, an industry trade group, paid for the study.
It calculates both the direct economic impacts of oil and gas exploration in the region and the so-called indirect and “induced” economic activity.
The direct impact alone is enormous: the study counts more than 46,000 people directly employed thanks to the oil field last year.
The study paints a picture of a future South Texas that in many ways revolves around the oil and gas industry.
So far, more than 5,400 Eagle Ford wells have been permitted by the Texas Railroad Commission, but by 2022, the study expects more than 24,000 wells in the region.
Even as the field matures and fewer people work on drilling sites, there still will be thousands processing, transporting and refining that oil and gas, and everyone from attorneys to restaurant employees working along the way.