Eagle Ford drilling bringing major changes



It has become apparent in Pleasanton and essentially throughout Atascosa and McMullen Counties that big changes are taking place in this area and will continue to do so throughout the future. Eagle Ford Shale oil and natural gas drilling activity is here and there’s no doubt that it’s “Big Business”. Oil and gas related firms aren’t investing in huge complexes in this area for the short haul. Unlike previous vertical drilling ventures where there was one frac, this acitivity is much different. With hydraulic fracturing where there are, you could say, a dozen or more wells in one with all the fracs being created along a horizontal line, wells are producing a huge amount of crude oil and natural gas.

Of course, the Eagle Ford impact isn’t limited to Atascosa and McMullen Counties. It traverses a 24 county area of South Texas beginning at the border of Mexico, spanning from Laredo to Eagle Pass. It crosses South Texas upwards in a northeasterly direction to the Woodlands area above Houston.

Due to geographics, Pleasanton has emerged as a major choice of location for many firms related to the oil industry. Pleasanton has Interstate 37 nearby along with U.S. Hwy 281 and State Hwy. 97 crossing through the middle of town. Also Union Pacific Railroad runs through Pleasanton southward to Corpus Christi and then on to the Rio Grande Valley with connections to Mexico. Additionally, the city is at a near-median point of the Eagle Ford, affording easy access to points south, east and west in the play.

Traffic in Peasanton has increased a lot due to heavy oilfield equipment and container trucks and many smaller pickup trucks heading in and out of the Eagle Ford. Restaurants and other eateries are extra busy along with firms such as auto parts stores, service stations, barber shops, etc.

While in line to have the oil in my car changed at Valvoline Express Care on Oaklawn last Friday afternoon at 4:45 something was noticeable. I was talking with Valvoline’s manager Robert Lopez and we both saw that ahead of my car there was a truck in the bay from Louisiana Crane getting an oil change. In the bay to the right was a Halliburton pickup with a Pumpco truck waiting behind. How’s that for an indication of what the petroleum industry is contributing to our local economy.

Not only in Pleasanton, but the communities of Charlottte, Jourdanton, Poteet and Tilden are immensely involved, all having oil industry facilities.

The Railroad Commission of Texas had this to say. The Eagle Ford Shale is a hydrocarbon producing formation of significant importance due to its capability of producing both gas and more oil than other traditional shale plays. It contains a much higher carbonate shale percentage upwards to 70% in south Texas, and becomes shallower and the shale content increases as it moves to the northwest. The high percentage of carbonate makes it more brittle and “fracable”. The shale play trends across Texas from the Mexican border up into East Texas, roughly 50 miles wide and 400 miles long with an average thickness of 250 feet. It is Cretaceous in age resting between the Austin Chalk and the Buda lime at a depth of approximately 4,000 to 12,000 feet. It is the source rock for the Austin Chalk and the giant East Texas Field. The name has often been mispelled as “Eagleford”.

The Eagle Ford Shale has an abundance of natural gas, a clean burning energy source. Producing additional domestic natural gas may reduce dependence on foreign energy sources.

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