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Eagle Ford swings a double-edged sword
by Chip Latcham
Jul 09, 2014 | 166 views | 0 0 comments | 0 0 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Once again, we have an unobstructed, close-up view of the pros and cons of residing in the Eagle Ford Shale.

In Saturday’s Corpus Christi Caller-Times, experts say the growing oil and gas play is a big reason why our state and North Dakota account for nearly half the nation’s crude production.

Production in Texas topped 3 million barrels daily for the first time since the late 1970s, according to the report, and the biggest gains came from the Eagle Ford, along with the Permian Basin.

“Economists speculate that as many as 10,000 jobs will be created in this region the next five years,” they said. Already we are seeing evidence of this with the building of new schools, grocery stores, hospitals, hotels and restaurants nearby.

Its greatest strength is its access to both land- and sea-based traffic, sitting amid a network of pipelines, refineries, industrial plants, the Port of Corpus Christi and major highways.

However, the downside, as pointed out by Bee County law enforcement officers, is the accompanying rise in crime.

They cite the increase in the number of emergency calls in the county. In addition to the wrecks on the busy highways, there are more reports of drug-related crimes.

Lt. John Davis, with the sheriff’s office, said some oil field workers are bringing methamphetamine into the community, and tied with drug use is theft.

“The oil fielders can walk away, but the methamphetamine is here. It is established.”

About the thieves, Davis said, “If it is not tied down, they are going to steal it. If it is tied down, they are going to cut it with a torch and steal it.”

Also, the sheriff’s office is requesting that deputies be equipped with tasers.

Davis said, “The studies have shown it reduces offender injuries as well as officer injuries. Your worker compensation claims go down. Your hospital bills for offenders go down.”

“Things are getting wilder out there,” Davis said.

Indeed, they are – kinda like the boomtown days of yore. If only the Eagle Ford resulted in nothing but higher energy production, paychecks and tax bases.
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