Advocate editorial board opinion: Beneficial economic factor to affect Victoria for years

By the Advocate Editorial Board
Sept. 24, 2011 at 4:24 a.m.

By now, most everyone has heard about the Eagle Ford shale. We know it is a huge deposit of shale that a single well could give up something like 600 barrels or more of oil daily.

The shale has been there all along, but the drilling technology to go 4,000 to 12,000 feet down to get the oil only came along recently.

Now, we hear the economy in our area will blossom because of the new efforts to drill and get the oil.

We think this is another part to Victoria's promising future. By part, we mean the shale production joins other important economic factors for our community, including Caterpillar Inc.'s manufacturing plant and a growing University of Houston-Victoria.

Dale Fowler, Victoria Economic Development Corp. president, said in addition to the Eagle Ford shale, Caterpillar and the university, our area petro-chemical plants have significant projects going on.

"The Port of Victoria is part of it. The port helps some of these companies decide to base here," he said.

As far as the Eagle Ford shale, Fowler noted that the shale field is not in Victoria. It is close enough to affect Victoria in some ways.

"It is having a significant effect for the local hotels, sales tax generation and an influx of services companies basing in Victoria," Fowler said.

Is this economic benefit going to last a long time? Fowler said no one really knows for certain.

"The experts I have talked to from the Texas Railroad Commission indicated a long play, that the shale would be significant for a number of years."

If that is so, then we think it will have a long-term effect on Victoria and the area. And that is why the Advocate has planned a seven-part series on this important area of Texas.

Beginning today and then on subsequent last Sundays of the next six months, an informative look at the Eagle Ford shale will be presented. Maybe all of us can understand better the significance of this economic benefit that will be part of our lives for years to come.

This editorial reflects the views of the Victoria Advocate's editorial board.



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