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South Texas Looking To Oil & Gas Exporting At Eagle Ford Consortium Conference

U.S. Energy Information Administration
South Texas oil (brown) and gas (blue) wells.

More than 600 South Texas business and community leaders are meeting in San Antonio this week for the third annual Eagle Ford Shale Consortium Conference.

The communities over the Eagle Ford Shale have come a long way since the first wells were drilled in 2008 and the first few years saw growth so rapid that residents could barely keep up.

"It was transformational in essence," said Leodoro Martinez, chairman of the Eagle Ford Consortium, who said since drilling began property tax income in LaSalle County increased in the first year from $286 million to $2.2 billion, then to $4.4 billion in the second year. That number is expected to exceed $6 billion this year. Similar increases in property taxes and sales tax revenues are reported in counties across the area.

Martinez said it was important to the communities that they go through the transformation phase collectively. Now, he said, the communities are involved in midstream issues involving the transport of oil and gas:

"Like pipelines that are being laid out to go down to the ports, all the investments at the ports, and how it leads to the possibility for an increase in production of the natural gas," Martinez said. "People are now talking about the possibility of exporting a lot of this gas and things of that nature."

Martinez said significant investments are going into development at the ports of Corpus Christi and Brownsville in anticipation of those exports from large stores of natural gas in the southern and mid-sections of the play.

San Antonio elected officials, business and education leaders are scheduled to speak at the conference that includes breakout sessions that cover issues such as Eagle Ford health care, land use planning, workforce and training and traffic management.

The conference runs through Wednesday at the Henry B. Gonzalez Convention Center.

Eileen Pace is a veteran radio and print journalist with a long history of investigative and feature reporting in San Antonio and Houston, earning more than 50 awards for investigative reporting, documentaries, long-form series, features, sports stories, outstanding anchoring and best use of sound.