Skip to comments.Oil jobs expected to flow into San Antonio
Posted on 10/24/2012 7:55:31 AM PDT by thackney
San Antonio and Corpus Christi dont sit in the Eagle Ford Shale play, but you wouldnt know it based on the jobs numbers.
The two cities are in line to see some of the biggest jobs gains due to increasing oil and gas production in South Texas.
The shale play supported 4,290 jobs in Bexar County in last year, and that number should grow to 11,627 jobs by 2021, according to a report released Tuesday by the University of Texas at San Antonio.
Nueces County is poised to end up with the greatest number of jobs from the Eagle Ford, growing from 3,880 jobs to 18,699 an increase of more than 380 percent.
In rural McMullen County, the 1,932 shale-supported jobs already dwarf the population, estimated at fewer than 700 in the 2010 census.
This is clearly a once in a lifetime event we are witnessing here, said Thomas Tunstall of UTSA, who spoke at the Eagle Ford Shale Stakeholders Summit, held Tuesday at Texas A&M International University in Laredo.
The shale drilling quickly is spinning out jobs and that has implications for training, safety and housing across the region.
Just more than half of the 20 counties in South Texas are expected to more than double the number of direct and indirect jobs supported by oil and gas production, including Atascosa, DeWitt, Gonzales, Jim Wells and San Patricio.
Some rural communities will add more than 10,000 positions.
Karnes County, which had a population of about 15,000 last year, is expected to have nearly 15,000 jobs supported by the Eagle Ford by 2021.
UTSA estimates the shale play supported 47,000 full-time jobs last year in a 20-county area with oil and gas production or adjacent to the drilling. By 2021, that should more than double to nearly 117,000.
Corpus Christi is expected to gain jobs both from proximity to drilling and because of its port and potential to develop terminals for the export of liquefied natural gas.
The immediate challenge for companies working in the region: finding enough workers.
Harold J.R. Reddish, president and CEO of Houston-based S&B Infrastructure Ltd., said theres a shortage of workers at all levels and not enough Texas students completing high school, college and advanced degree programs.
Honestly, were having a hard time finding the workers we need not only on the degreed level but on the workforce level, Reddish said.
The industry is more technically complex and the safety and environmental requirements are greater than they were in the past, he said.
Theres a need for everyone from engineers to computer-assisted drawing operators to drivers.
On top of that, the industry is about to face a baby boomer crunch.
Were going to lose a large part of our technical workforce when these folks start looking for the door, Reddish said.
Tunstall said the types of workers needed over the life of the play will change. Intense pipeline construction will give way to office, management and support jobs later.
Right now is when most of the construction is occurring, Tunstall said. By the time we get to 2021, the construction activities will have shifted to maintenance and repair.
For now, communities are struggling with roads cracking like alligator skin, heavy truck traffic and a host of social issues.
Lawmakers are trying to organize a shale caucus of those who represent oil and gas production areas across Texas, in hopes of getting funding from the 2013 Legislature for problem roads and other needs.
Larry Dovalina, city manager of Cotulla, said its taking too long to develop good truck routes.
Were being overrun by trucks, literally, he said.
In Carrizo Springs ISD, the number of homeless students is on the rise because families that arent working in the oil field no longer can afford rent. Superintendent Deborah Dobie said she asks potential new teachers, How do you feel about living in Eagle Pass? Eagle Pass is more than 40 miles from Carrizo Springs.
On the upside, there finally are jobs in a region that has suffered from a brain drain, and a chance to attract younger workers back home.
You couldnt get a job in South Texas. You had to leave, said Joel Rodriguez Jr., La Salle County judge.
To fill the housing need immediately, so-called man camps have popped up across the shale play to house and feed up to a few hundred workers each.
Paul Carlton, director of innovation and preparedness for the Texas A&M University System Health Science Center, called for work villages instead for 500 to 5,000 people. Temporary structures should be used so no one lives in a ghost town in the long range.
Having more housing would get workers off the roads by allowing their families to move to South Texas, too.
Carlton said road damage, traffic, accidents, drunken driving, emergency room visits and workers compensation claims could drop by making sure people dont work long hours and then drive hours to get home, or drive far to find something to do.
And years later if the oil-field work dries up, the temporary structures could be moved elsewhere.
Tunstall said communities ultimately could be left with better roads, medical facilities and housing. But they also have to answer the post-boom question, Why would anybody want to live or work here?
The Eagle Ford Shale is a hydrocarbon producing formation of significant importance due to its capability of producing both gas and more oil than other traditional shale plays. It contains a much higher carbonate shale percentage, upwards to 70% in south Texas, and becomes shallower and the shale content increases as it moves to the northwest. The high percentage of carbonate makes it more brittle and fracable. The shale play trends across Texas from the Mexican border up into East Texas, roughly 50 miles wide and 400 miles long with an average thickness of 250 feet. It is Cretaceous in age resting between the Austin Chalk and the Buda Lime at a depth of approximately 4,000 to 12,000 feet. It is the source rock for the Austin Chalk and the giant East Texas Field. The name has often been misspelled as Eagleford.
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The whole dam country will see an explosion of jobs if Romney is elected and turns the oil and gas companies loose.
Let the states decide if they want to let leases for oil and watch out.
“The whole dam country will see an explosion of jobs if Romney is elected and turns the oil and gas companies loose.”
I must add: “and snuff out the EPA and all the other water melon outfits in the US”.
Another oil field, according to local media, scheduled to expand in a couple years is the Spearfish formation in ND. It is reported to have room for 2400 wells. But if obama gets a second term, I would not bet on any of this.
The EPA become irrelevant if Romney turns the decisions over to the states. But, having said that, the first agency that must be eliminated, is the EPA. All it would take is a executive order since the bastard was created by executive order.
Do you know if the Eagle Ford Shale is being developed south of the Rio Grande in Mexico? If not at some point it seems that would become into play.
I Live in Guadalupe Co. Just right off the Shale.
I HATE my current job (occupation) I’m ready for a change.
I think I may dig into this a bit and change my carreer I only have about 15 more years to work and if I stay here much longer I am gonna flip out.
Thanks for the post thackney....
San Antonio is the Mexico of Texas. They always have been. Tunstall is a huge global health insurance company from England which operates here in America as well as other countries.