Here are some photos that I took recently in the Eagle Ford Shale, mostly around DeWitt, Wilson, and Gonzales counties. This area of the Eagle Ford Shale play is experiencing an explosion in growth of new businesses such as RV parks, apartment complexes, oil well service and rental companies. Despite the flurry of activity, the surface has only been scratched on this massive Texas oil discovery. Thousands more wells will be drilled over the coming years as the Eagle Ford Shale play matures.
Towns such as Cuero, Kennedy, Gonzales, and Stockdale are jammed with Eagle Ford Shale oilfield workers including welders, roughnecks, and pipeline construction crews.
Below: Twin Weatherford pump jacks on a new well location near Cuero Texas.
The quaint rural landscape of DeWitt, Gonzales and other South Texas counties is changing quickly. In the photo below, on the right, a drilling rig can be seen off in the distance behind an old windmill. In the photo on the left, a huge natural gas flare roars so loud it sounds like a jet engine. This portable trailer – mounted gas flare burns so hot it can be felt almost a quarter-mile away.
Below a Trinidad Drilling Inc. rig near field of wildflowers, west of Cuero in DeWitt County.
This large centralized tank battery features 24 large oil tanks, compressors and natural gas treatment equipment. Altogether it probably accounts for several million dollars worth of new Eagle Ford Shale infrastructure just on one lease alone. Centralized oil and gas gathering facilities like this one, along with new natural gas pipelines like the one seen below, are under construction all across Eagle Ford Shale play.
Below: Oil and gas companies almost never it a dry hole in the Eagle Ford Shale. Before the drilling rig seen in the background has even spudded a well, construction on a pipeline to carry the oil and gas it will produce is already underway.
Another large centralized oil gathering facility in Gonzales County owned by EFS Midstream, LLC. This one features over 20 large tanks. Its owners are serious about controlling access, and preventing unwanted behavior at the facilities, as indicated by the huge sign in the second photo.
With oil and gas equipment prices at an all-time high, companies must be wary of thieves and vandals. Note that this company is a member of Energy Crime Stoppers, and encourages witnesses to report suspicious activity by calling 888-OIL-TIPS.
Above: An old oak tree, which has probably seen more than a hundred springs, located next to a new Eagle Ford Shale well and large trailer mounted gas flare. Portable gas flare units are being used on leases which have not been hooked up to natural gas pipelines yet. The gas flare seen in this photo was roaring loudly, and burning so much natural gas that it could be felt almost quarter-mile away. Although this seems wasteful, and it probably is, oil companies are more concerned about selling millions of dollars of valuable liquids such as condensate and crude oil than they are about waiting for gas pipelines to be completed. Due to a glut of gas from increased production, natural gas is now almost considered a “waste product” which must be disposed of in order to get at billions of dollars worth of oil.
Below: A small RV Park built for oilfield workers is just one of scores of new ones in the Eagle Ford Shale play area. With parking spots for travel trailers commanding all time high prices, a landowner can quickly pay for one of the small RV parks and begin earning a profit.
Gravel trucks hauling aggregate to new well locations in Wilson County. (Photo taken in Southwest Wilson County, TX.)
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