Energy and Environment Reporting for Texas

Flow Of Money From South Texas Oil Startles Economists

Oil & gas facilites in LaSalle County, part of the Eagle Ford Shale.

Photo by Dave Fehling.

Oil & gas facilites in LaSalle County, part of the Eagle Ford Shale.

Economists made a surprising discovery when they measured the economic impact of oil & gas drilling in Texas. For the past four years, Thomsas Tunstall and a team of economists at University of Texas-San Antonio have been measuring the economic impact of surging oil & gas drilling in the rock formation called the Eagle Ford in South Texas.

“Clearly the formation production has legs,” Tunstall told News 88.7.

And those legs are running faster than expected. Way faster.

The economists had predicted just last year that they expected the total economic impact to South Texas to be $89 billion in 2022. Instead, they now estimate that the impact has already reached almost that amount: $87 billion.

What’s making the difference?

Primarily all the jobs from drilling and running pipelines.

“But also because of lots of new manufacturing activity. And a lot of that is being driven by the low cost of natural gas,” said Tunstall.

That low cost natural gas made right here in Texas is what big industry uses to manufacture chemicals and other products. So manufacturing jobs are up as well as trade in places like the port in Corpus Christi.

It’s all adding billions to the Texas economy and to revenues for state and local governments. But how long will it last?

Tunstall says years longer based on projections on the number of wells yet to be drilled.


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