This was the message presented by a panel of experts during an Eagle Ford Shale Open House event presented by America’s Natural Gas Alliance (ANGA) and Coastal Bend College (CBC) at the City of Kenedy Municipal Auditorium on March 3.
David Blackmon, who is the director of government affairs for El Paso Corporation and also chair of ANGA’s Texas State Affairs Committee, said it is expected that by the end of 2011 there will be around 250 rigs running in the area.
“It is ramping up quickly,” he said.
Halaby said that it is estimated that by 2020, there will be close to $21.5 billion in total economic output for the area with 68,000 full-time jobs and $3.2 billion paid in salaries and benefits. More than $450 million in contribution to local government revenues is expected, Halaby said.
“Not just the individuals working in this or the people residing here that get that direct impact or the businesses that get to take advantage of it, but us as individual taxpayers – we get the benefit of being able to sustain a certain level of services that we might not otherwise be able to do.”
Local businesses are serving more plates of food, filling more gas tanks and reserving more hotel rooms as workers continue to flood the area.
The Pantry Stores in Beeville have increased their sales of gas and food in the past two to three months, said Leticia Muñoz, supervisor.
The stores serve as a kind of introduction to the community for some workers as well.
“We’ve had more sales, more traffic, more people asking for directions and where things are,” Muñoz said. “A lot of new faces and so forth.”
Courtney Rincon, front desk agent at Beeville’s Holiday Inn Express, said it hasn’t been easy to book a room at the hotel since as far back as six months ago.
“We sell out Monday through Friday every week and some weekends,” Rincon said.
Next door at the Best Western Texan Inn, it’s the same story.
“We’ve been so busy, it’s hard for people to get a room,” said Kandy Rodriguez, front desk clerk. “People are lucky to get one, especially during the week.”
Both Rodriguez and Rincon said they saw a need for more hotels in the area, and more will probably come.