Thursday, March 10, 2011

Webb County Gas

A reader brought to my attention the increased drilling activity seen in Northern Webb, and LaSalle County.  He's referring to the bounty that the Eagle Ford Shale has afforded the area:  jobs, infusion of money into small communities, natural gas deposits, wealth for land owners, etc.  In the previous post's comments section he wrote:
I am looking at how the oil boom in Encinal are missing Laredo. Several very large oil and gas yards on Oil Road (hwy 359) are moving to Encinal and surrounding cities with the new boom.
The Express-News brings up some attractive numbers.
Since the first well was drilled in the Eagle Ford in 2008 until 2010, oil and gas drilling has directly supported about 6,800 full-time jobs in the region, paid $311 million in salaries and benefits to workers and generated almost $2.1 billion in total economic output.
This all sounds exciting.  Next time I drive by Encinal, it might look like a totally different town -- all the residents are going to be driving Cadillacs and wearing fur coats, in July!!!
But all this sound too good to be true.  Que Fregados posted a story about a quake experienced in Alice, TX which was being attributed to drilling.  And LaredoTejas brought up the issue of "fracking" recently.  Fracking, or hydraulic fracturing, is the process used by drillers to get natural gas to rise to the surface.  Water, chemicals and sand are introduced into the (shale) rock at high pressures, thus breaking the material and allowing the gas to escape.

The video below explains the process and features the reactions of residents in North Texas.



A lot of people are making a ton of money off of this but it's coming with a price.  Thankfully, people are noticing.  Encinal and Cotulla might be experiencing a rebirth but at what cost?
Check out the trailer for "Gasland."  My favorite part is where the homeowner turns on his faucet and lights the water on fire.  Hallelujah!








 

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