The Play: Special series examines Eagle Ford Shale oil and gas boom

As night falls, the Crossroads' new oil and gas boom becomes even more visible. This rig is along U.S. Highway 183 at the Hamon community near Gonzales. Drilling rigs tapping into the Eagle Ford Shale are going up across DeWitt and Gonzales counties and surrounding areas.

Once-quiet towns have become hives of activity as oil companies lease land and oil field workers swarm into the area.

The cause of the activity? The Eagle Ford Shale play, as those in the business call it.

In a comprehensive, seven-part series, the Advocate examines "The Play" and how drilling in this area is changing the land and the lives in the Crossroads.

The Eagle Ford Shale is an oil rich formation that stretches from the Texas-Mexico border into East Texas. It runs right under the Crossroads, bringing with it new oil and gas wealth and environmental concerns.

In the oil industry, a play is an area where oil and natural gas are discovered. Energy companies follow plays the way prospectors once chased gold mines. They have followed the Eagle Ford Shale play straight into the region.

In the series, the Victoria Advocate conducted a comprehensive examination of how this affected the Crossroads, both the good and the bad.

For related coverage, click here.

To read the entire series, click below:

Part 1: Oil, gas development pumps life into South Texas small towns

Part 2: Boom town: Cuero awakens to a new shade of green

Part 3: Environmental concerns get little play amid oil, gas boom

Part 4: Couple's fight with pipeline company pits Texans' love of oil vs. love of landownership

Part 5: Oil-field workers shoot for huge success during boom times

Part 6: Riches or ruins? Lessons learned from the Barnett Shale

Part 7: Karnes County rides cycle of boom, bust

Continue Reading: Part 1: Oil and gas development pumps life into South Texas small towns