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2012-03-07 / Columns / Oil and Gas Report

Oil & Gas Report

Railroad Commissioner David Porter addresses Eagle Ford Consortium
Leon Zabava

“You’ve put together a fantastic program and I’m honored to be a part of it”, said Texas Railroad Commissioner David Porter at a Friday morning session of the Eagle Ford Consortium. This three day inaugural conference was held at the Omni San Antonio Hotel beginning Wednesday, February 29 and ending Friday, March 2.

Leodoro Martinez, Jr., Chairman of the Eagle Ford Consortium said, “It was truly a great conference. It gave us the opportunity we had been working toward to bring the public and private sectors together along with the regulatory agencies. That enabled those in attendance to be better informed on what’s going on in the Eagle Ford Shale. We had about 600 attending along with 100 or so exhibitors for a total of about 700 people present.”

Porter said, “The name of this conference ‘Creating a Sustainable Pathway’ is incredibly significant. It’s going to take twenty to twenty-five years to fully develop this play (Eagle Ford Shale) and we must plan for the future – we must think long-term and we must get it right. That is why I am so pleased to see the Eagle Ford Consortium bringing all of you stakeholders together, building relations and most importantly, encouraging solution-based thinking.”

Pictured at the Eagle Ford Consortium held ot Omni San Antonio Hotel last weekend are, from left, Rene Montalvo, Manager - Community Development and Corporate Relations with Chesapeake Energy; Texas Railroad Commissioner David Porter; Weston Martinez, Commissioner of the Texad Real Estate Commission and Pleasanton Express Oil and Gas Reporter, Leon Zabava. Pictured at the Eagle Ford Consortium held ot Omni San Antonio Hotel last weekend are, from left, Rene Montalvo, Manager - Community Development and Corporate Relations with Chesapeake Energy; Texas Railroad Commissioner David Porter; Weston Martinez, Commissioner of the Texad Real Estate Commission and Pleasanton Express Oil and Gas Reporter, Leon Zabava. He elaborated that a consortium, like this one, being attended by many, is why he created the Eagle Ford Task Force. He feels the Task Force is essential and must continue on behalf of the Eagle Ford stakeholders, attaining sustainability.

“I’ve been receiving overwhelmingly positive feedback regarding my Task Force,” said Porter, adding, “I am confident I have selected the right people to keep us ahead of pressing issues and opening a line of communications.”

Porter was determined to see that the Task Force will be a means of building relations with the media.

“Many of our Task Force members are here today participating in this conference. In fact, I saw and spoke with six or so of them this morning, maybe more,” said Porter.

He then asked Task Force members to stand to be recognized. “Here are your Task Force members. I want to thank you for your service,” was met with applause.



Porter mentioned that he had been spending a lot of time in the Eagle Ford region meeting with local citizens and businessmen. He said, “The folks down there have been providing an enormous amount of leadership and commitment to their communities. They really care about getting involved. They truly understand the goal of developing this trend so that it has a long-term future. Yes, there are problems, as we see, but we know the opportunities far outweigh the problems and, personally,” adding, “I said it before and I’ll say it again, the Eagle Ford Shale has the potential to be the single most important economic development in our state’s history. It is a gamechanger and it has enormous benefits, not only for South Texas, but for the entire country,” continuing, “In 2011, we issued about 3,000 permits. Putting this in perspective, in 2009 we issued 94 permits for the region.”

Porter spoke on beneficial societal changes happening throughout the region. He also spoke of the importance of oil and gas in driving our economy and that Texas is a powerhouse in the area of petroleum production and “I intend to keep it that way.” He spoke of the health and safety of Texans and our desire to “efficiently and economically produce the energy needed to support Texans and the Texas economy”.

Porter said, “It is crucial that we consider the environmental affects of energy development. One of the biggest environmental concerns has been water, both in quality and in quantity. Fortunately, the Railroad Commission has accomplished and put in place the means to protect our groundwater. We have never seen any problem due to hydraulic fracturing and furthermore the Commission has adopted rules requiring operators to disclose chemical ingredients and water quantity used to hydraulically fracture wells in Texas.”

He mentioned that the legislature has required the disclosure rules and that “it was necessary to restore public confidence in the energy sector”. Porter said, “I say, Texas should remain in control of regulations pertaining to its own natural resources so that the energy situation can remain fair, steady and predictable.”

“I want to address water quantity as well. We know that our state is facing a drought of epic proportions, but I’m optimistic about water usage as it relates to drilling,” continuing, “The entire industry is working to dramatically limit the amount of water taken to complete a well and they’re also working into reusing fracturing water instead of fresh water. I also intend to do everything to encourage the recycling of more water. I have met with numerous water recycling companies and I am encouraged by the emerging technology. There are a lot of interesting innovations out there now. Water is a complicated issue - it’s an important issue for the entire state,” continuing, “It’s in everyone’s best interest that we get this right and that we keep it going in Texas. We’ve all heard reports of national environmental groups coming down to organize protests. We simply know that’s not good for South Texas or for the state as a whole.”

“We have an incredible opportunity to bolster the Texas economy and it’s my goal to make sure that we develop our natural resources properly as an energy legislator in our role in an energy producing state. I pledge to do everything in my power to protect this most important economic generator in Texas.”

Porter closed saying, “I want to thank the conference organizers for putting together this incredible program.”

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