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One Opinion

One Opinion: Eagle Ford shale: Dream come true or nightmare?

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Elaine Kolodziej is responsible for this content, which is not edited by the Wilson County News or
May 9, 2012 | 3,092 views | 1 comment

There is no one in South Texas who has not seen the changes brought about by what some now predict is the largest-ever economic boom for Texas. Pre-dictions are that the Eagle Ford shale development may well be the largest single oil discovery ever in the lower 48 states.

However you describe it, locals cannot escape noticing the changes.

While some have stumbled into wealth with large payments from oil leases and others are enjoying royalty payments, still others just wish they had. Coun-ties and cities are dealing with increased traffic and activity such as they have never seen before.

The sudden influx of fracking trucks, RV parks, and related activities brought on by the Eagle Ford shale development has caught just about everyone off guard. The increased revenue cannot be matched quickly enough with plans and preparation for the influx of people and activity.

Citizens anxiously watch as trucks tear up roads, disposal wells spring up, and waste sites are opened, but at the same time, major oil companies, trucking companies, and ancillary supply companies are relocating offices to this area of South Central Texas to be nearer the action.

The oil extraction process called fracking involves forcing water and sand into the under-ground formations at high pressure in order to crack open lay-ers of rock. This process makes the oil and gas easier to extract, and has resulted in the huge increase in oil production in the United States and in the boom-ing local economies.

While some are prepared to meet the challenges brought on by these changes; others stand by and watch.

Those who have seized the opportunity are reaping the benefits. We’ve seen some with just a few acres put out the “now open” sign to rent spaces to anyone with an RV. Others have invested thousands to install concrete parking pads, utilities, and other amenities to develop nice parks that will last long into the future. Jobs are in abundance for those who are drug-free and willing to work.

Some entrepreneurs have headed out to the oil fields with portable kitchens, providing hot meals to hungry crews. Others provide laundry services, while new motels, restaurants, and other businesses are opening to meet the additional demands.

Whether you are worried about the problems brought on by the sudden growth, or you are sharing in sudden wealth, there is no doubt that the Eagle Ford shale is bringing challenges.

Communities that are up to the challenge will do well. Those that are not prepared will flounder and fall behind in the stampede.
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Elaine K.  
May 9, 2012 7:21pm
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