Shale Boom in Texas Could Increase U.S. Oil Output
Published: May 27, 2011CATARINA, Tex. — Until last year, the 17-mile stretch of road between this forsaken South Texas village and the county seat of Carrizo Springs was a patchwork of derelict gasoline stations and rusting warehouses.
A blog about energy and the environment.
Michael Stravato for The New York Times
Now the region is in the hottest new oil play in the country, with giant oil terminals and sprawling RV parks replacing fields of mesquite. More than a dozen companies plan to drill up to 3,000 wells around here in the next 12 months.
The Texas field, known as the Eagle Ford, is just one of about 20 new onshore oil fields that advocates say could collectively increase the nation’s oil output by 25 percent within a decade — without the dangers of drilling in the deep waters of the Gulf of Mexico or the delicate coastal areas off Alaska.
There is only one catch: the oil from the Eagle Ford and similar fields of tightly packed rock can be extracted only by using hydraulic fracturing, a method that uses a high-pressure mix of water, sand and hazardous chemicals to blast through the rocks to release the oil inside.
The technique, also called fracking, has been widely used in the last decade to unlock vast new fields of natural gas, but drillers only recently figured out how to release large quantities of oil, which flows less easily through rock than gas. As evidence mounts that fracking poses risks to water supplies, the federal government and regulators in various states are considering tighter regulations on it.
The oil industry says any environmental concerns are far outweighed by the economic benefits of pumping previously inaccessible oil from fields that could collectively hold two or three times as much oil as Prudhoe Bay, the Alaskan field that was the last great onshore discovery. The companies estimate that the boom will create more than two million new jobs, directly or indirectly, and bring tens of billions of dollars to the states where the fields are located, which include traditional oil sites like Texas and Oklahoma, industrial stalwarts like Ohio and Michigan and even farm states like Kansas.Read More...
Great! Or is it??? I live in an area, where that Frakin has been done to get the Natural Gas out of the ground here. And in just a few Short Years, in my area. Much of the Underground Water has been Contaminated and made unusable for human Consumption. What most people don't know is... That Frakin takes allot, I mean A LOT of Water! Water that is no longer usable for Human Consumption. That along with the Ground Water that Frakin Poisons. Takes the very life sustaining water away form the People living in the surrounding areas. People, who depend on Community Water Wells or their own Private Wells, for Water to Drink, Cook With, Bathe... to Live! Then there are the Poisson Gasses that are Routinely Released from Gas Wells. Because they have no Monetary Value to the Oil Companies. They are jus let out into the atmosphere. There are tow Wells, within one mile of my home now and I live in the City Limits of my small TX Town. I own the Mineral Rights on a Small Piece of land in the Country, in an area where Gas Wells are being Drilled right now. And I have been contacted by two Oil Companies about Leasing my Rights. Their offers are so judiciously small, that it amounts to Peanuts for Me! I'm talking about anywhere from about $35 to $1 a month. From what the Contracts I have been given to sign, read. And there is no guarantee that you will be paid anything at all, even on a Producing Well! They are lying, conniving, cheating Companies. These Oil Companies that have contacted me. That put so many one sided (for their interests only) clauses in their Contracts. That there are at least 10 to 20 ways in each Contract, that would allow them to get out of paying a Mineral Rights owner anything at all! So, Leasing your Mineral Rights, may just turn out to be. Nothing but a big head ache for you. And in the end, all you will end up getting is the Big Oil Shaft!:O And... after all is said and done. What are we going to drink, to stay alive? Oil???