The Eagle Ford Shale (EFS) is quite possibly the largest single economic development in the history of the state of Texas and ranks as the largest oil and gas development in the world based on capital invested. According to the Center for Community and Business Research at the University of Texas San Antonio, more $30 billion was spent developing the play in 2013.
In San Patricio County, construction – as opposed to active drilling and exploration – has been the source of direct Eagle Ford Shale economic impact. The construction of pipelines and other oil and gas related infrastructure - such as improvements by Flint Hills to a pier in Ingleside - have created great opportunity for San Patricio. In addition, surrounding counties with active drilling and refineries have set off an indirect ripple effect that is rolling through local communities.
San Patricio’s total Eagle Ford employment impact for 2012 included 1,885 jobs with a payroll of more than $113 million. In addition, San Patricio County experienced a total output of $647.35 million and a gross county product of $226.39 million. This is compared to the 20-county Eagle Ford Shale region, which produced more than $61 billion and supported 116,508 full time jobs with an annual payroll of $4.69 billion the same year. The boom produced $1.01 billion in total local revenues and $1.24 billion in estimated state revenue.
In 2014, San Patricio County continues to benefit from the economic stimulus generated by Eagle Ford Shale production, primarily in the refining and maritime sectors. The Port has seen an increase in outbound ships and has added to the number and capacity of its wet docks, indications that the county plays an important role in keeping the energy business moving.
While the full economic impact of the shale is yet to be seen, San Patricio County will reap the benefits of major investments including oil and gas operations centers, crude oil transportation infrastructure, pipelines, terminals and processing plants for years to come.
Add the jobs created in surrounding counties and the picture of a modern oil boom begins to take shape. From record drilling levels to wells producing more than 4,000 barrels per day of oil initially, the play is redefining South Texas as an oil industry hotbed. If you own a business in South Texas, or are considering doing business in the area, it’s wise to think about how the Eagle Ford Shale is changing the economic landscape and your future. Oil and gas production is bringing new found wealth to San Patricio County, and you can be a part of it.