Friday, March 30, 2012

How long might the Eagle Ford Shale boom last? Depends whom you ask

The Eagle Ford Shale activity was one of the many subjects discussed by our city council at the now-infamous "Needmore Retreat".

Jose Ceballos, American Natural Gas Association (ANGA) spokesman/lobbyist spoke on the topic for a few minutes. He buttered up the mayor and the council abit and then everyone started taking turns at predicting just how long the EFS boom might last. Others, such as congressman Henry (Heh Heh) Cuellar have previously made similar predictions.

Ceballos butters them up. (Again, I paraphrase from the retreat's audio.)

The ANGA spokesman took to the podium and immediately commended council for holding the retreat. Ceballos then mentioned that he has been working on the EFS for over 2 years.  Also, he cited an ANGA study by UTSA that reveals positive county-level impacts. He said that this info will assist city/county in economic development planning.   

According to Ceballos, the city is in position to provide housing for “Southern rim” of EFS. He said that he expects to see many jobs, including Management/middle management positions, coming to Laredo.  Laredo is the "workforce hub for the EFS", he added.  

Ceballos also talked about “Texas clean air triangle” Houston- Dallas-San Antonio being developed for fleet and big truck purposes. This, he said, will benefit the city of Laredo.  He mentioned housing, workforce, airport, university (he didn’t’ mention I-35). He said that Laredo has one of the few CNG  (Compressed Natural Gas) filling stations in the state.

He then spoke about the continued expectations of the boom , starting off by saying that we’re at 13,000 wells now. He added that the potential in the EFS for oil & gas wells is about 20,000. He said this started in 2008, with very few permits. Now, there's  a better picture to be able to forecast the possible future of the EFS.

Guessing game?

As far as number of years, he hesitated but said that 20 years potential might be the length of the play. He added, maybe more.  He encouraged for city to stay and strengthen its role as a regional player. (He seemed hesitant to cite the 20 year estimate).

San Miguel estimates about 5-10 years of the EFS being really active, then forsees a longer but much slower period afterwards.

The mayor has also mentioned a 20-year stint for the EFS.

Carlos Villarreal mentioned that according to Rod Lewis, of Lewis Petroleum, it should be 35 years for sure.

Henry (heh heh) Cuellar has said before that the EFS play should be booming for about 50 years.

50 years? Why not? It sure makes for good press (heh heh).


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