Photo: Jerry Lara /Staff File Photo
A grassroots energy advocacy group in Texas is touting the benefits of South Texas’ Eagle Ford Shale oil field, saying its created tens of thousands of jobs and generated tens of billions in economic output.
The group Texans for Natural Gas, formerly known as North Texans for Natural Gas, says the oil and gas field, which at 1.4 million barrels a day of oil production is the second largest producing oil field in the U.S. and is the fifth largest natural gas producer, has produced nearly $50 billion in economic output and, in 2016, supported more than 108,000 direct and indirect jobs.
Until the early 2010s the Eagle Ford Shale was primarily a gas field, but the combination of horizontal drilling and hydraulic fracturing or fracking quickly brought the fields oil production from 103,000 barrels a day in Oct. 2010 — the first month the field broke the 100,000 barrel a day mark — to 357,000 barrels a day the following October.
The Eagle Ford Shale hit its peak oil production in March 2015, when it produced over 1.7 million barrels of oil a day. Production fell as oil prices collapsed in 2015 and oil and gas drillers pulled drilling rigs from the field, favoring the more prolific Permian Basin oil field in West Texas.