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Eagle Ford Shale watchers ask: How long will boom last? (Video)

By BY DIANNA WRAY - DWRAY@VICAD.COM
April 13, 2012 at 4:04 p.m.
Updated April 13, 2012 at 11:14 p.m.

Tony Auld, senior vice president for South Texas operations at Enterprise Products, speaks about the impact of the Eagle Ford Shale on the area at the I-10 Corridor Association meeting. Auld and his coworkers were the featured speakers at the annual meeting.

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Go to www.i10corridor.org for more information.

YOAKUM - The Eagle Ford Shale was the focus of the annual I-10 Corridor Association meeting.

"So if this were a ball game, what inning would you say we're in?" a man called from the crowd.

"Some people say this will last 20 years, and some people say it'll go on for 30 or even 40, but it's still too soon to tell," Tony Auld, the senior vice president of South Texas operations at Enterprise Products, answered.

Auld and a handful of other representatives from Enterprise Products were the guest speakers at the annual meeting of the I-10 Corridor Association.

As the Enterprise natural gas processing plant continues to mushroom and expand on the road just outside of Yoakum, Pat Kennedy, the vice president of the association, said he thought it would be a good idea to have representatives come talk.

"It's a topic that's of interest to many people in this area, and this is a good way to get people to come and learn about the I-10 Association and what we do," I-10 Corridor Association President Sherry Nefford-Esse said, of the focus on the plant and about how the Eagle Ford Shale stands to impact their business and the area.

The I-10 Corridor Association is a group comprised of chamber executives, economic development representatives and business owners from 13 counties. The association is focused on promoting tourism and economic development in the region.

More than 50 people attended the meeting held Friday in the Yoakum Community Center.

The Eagle Ford Shale play has been producing crude oil and natural gas at rates that have exceeded expectations, Auld told the crowd.

It was predicted the formation would produce about 8 million barrels of oil in 2011, Auld said, and then more than 30 million barrels have come gushing up from the ground.

Natural gas production also has increased substantially, and Enterprise Products has been rapidly enlarging the natural gas processing plant in Yoakum to handle the increase.

The Eagle Ford Shale is one of the hottest plays in the country right now, at a time when everyone is predicting that the United States is on the brink of energy independence.

"This is an exciting time for the energy business," Auld said.

Auld said they make a point of doing these types of presentations to give community members a chance to ask questions and get the right information about what they do.

Nefford-Esse agreed.

"This is something that is needed with Eagle Ford Shale covering the thousands of miles that it does and impacting so many communities it does," Nefford-Esse said. "Whether it will be around for 30 or 40 years, one doesn't know, but it's doing wonderful things for these communities, and we've needed something like this for a long time."

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