By Todd Staples, president of the Texas Oil and Gas Association
When the Eagle Ford Shale came to life a little more than 10 years ago, it wasn’t the first time South Texas had experienced an energy boom. In fact, it wasn’t the second or third time the area was alive with drilling-related economic activity and saw a resurgence of resources into local coffers. But this time, dramatic advances in technology and the Texas oil and natural gas industry’s commitment to partnering with communities turned the boom of 2012 into a different ballgame. Together, industry and South Texas communities have been able to sustain the Eagle Fords’ excellence over the long term.
For almost a decade, groups like the Eagle Ford Shale Consortium, the Eagle Ford Shale Task Force, Future of the Region South Texas and the South Texas Energy and Economic Roundtable (STEER) have brought the public and private sectors together to open lines of communication and stimulate collaboration. The result of a robust industry presence and this deliberate, collaborative approach has been profound for the South Texas Region.
Local economies have been bolstered by billions of dollars of investments that have helped change the dynamic of many Eagle Ford communities. Whether you’re visiting the new or revitalized courthouses in Dimmitt, LaSalle, Karnes and DeWitt Counties or humming along the many fortified roads that connect the Eagle Ford, positive changes in the region are evident and everywhere. Now-a-days it’s not just the number of hotels and gas stations that reflect the economic impact of oil and natural gas activity. Community projects and collaboratives have produced emergency services centers, medical facilities, brand new schools, ballparks and rodeo arenas. Places like McMullen County are putting together long-term plans to harness the opportunities of the Eagle Ford Shale and infuse the benefits right into the community.
If you walk into the workplace of an oil and natural gas company, you might be shocked to find conversations that are a far cry from the old days of wildcatting. Today, safety, environmental standards, innovations in renewable solutions and implementation of advanced technologies dominate operations. Innovation, efficiency and ingenuity remain the hallmarks of this industry and the standard-bearers for energy producers worldwide.
As STEER prepares to host its 2022 Eagle Ford Excellence Awards in October, we want to recognize organizations and projects that have helped propel this region forward over the last year. Nominations are now open for the following categories: Community and Social Investment, Environmental Stewardship, Neighborhood Impression and Innovation in Technology. While South Texas is known for being humble and hardworking, we ask you now to help celebrate South Texas accomplishments. If you know of a company or local organization that is raising the bar in the oil and natural gas space and the Eagle Ford region, I invite you to visit www.steer.com/efea to learn more about the Eagle Ford Excellence Awards and to submit your nominations. With your help and input, we can show the world what happens when community and industry come together for a common goal.
All nominations must be submitted by Friday, August 19, 2022.