South Texas sees struggles, opportunities amid oil boom

Posted on November 2, 2013 at 6:00 am by Jennifer Hiller

CORPUS CHRISTI — Along a bay front dotted with sailboats and shrimp boats, the movement of crude oil has long been part of the background scenery.

Only now, most of the ships sit lower in the water when they leave — heavier and filled with Eagle Ford Shale crude oil bound for other U.S. ports and Canada — than when they arrive at the port.

Starting in July for the first time ever, more domestic oil left the Port of Corpus Christi than foreign oil arrived. It’s a startling trend, but just one of several effects of the Eagle Ford boom, which has created jobs and wealth in spades, but also turned South Texas upside down in many ways.

“No one really foresaw the massive changes in this industry,” said NuStar Energy LP CEO Curt Anastasio, who spoke Tuesday at the fall conference of the Eagle Ford Consortium, a group of officials from several counties impacted by drilling and production.

The Eagle Ford boom started five years ago this month with the announcement of a successful shale well in La Salle County.

But communities and companies continue grappling with the growth and change that’s come with an influx of oil and gas activity.

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