The University of Texas at San Antonio has studied the economic potential of the Eagle Ford Shale in South Texas and the Cline Shale in West Texas. Now it’s looking at the Eagle Ford across the border.
Thomas Tunstall, research director of the UTSA Institute for Economic Development, said the group plans to start a study of the Burgos Basin in Mexico.
“We’re going to take a look at that and see what the implications are for business opportunities there as well as potential economic impacts,” Thomas Tunstall, told members of the Eagle Ford Consortium last Friday in San Antonio.
The Eagle Ford in Mexico is called the Boquillas, and is part of the Burgos Basin between the Rio Grande and the city of Monterrey. With Mexico opening its oil and gas fields to foreign investment for the first time in decades, companies on both sides of the border are trying to figure out how long it will take for shale drilling to take off in Mexico and whether they want to try for a slice of the business.
Tunstall, who has studied the economics of the Texas shale plays, spoke earlier this year to the Chamber of the Transformation Industry of Nuevo León.
UTSA on Sept. 23 will release the update of its Eagle Ford economic impact report.
In 2012, UTSA estimated that the Eagle Ford had a $61 billion impact and supported 116,000 jobs across a 20-county swath of South Texas. America’s Natural Gas Alliance, an industry trade group, paid for that study. It calculated the direct economic impacts of oil and gas exploration, as well as the so-called indirect and “induced” economic activity created from things such as service companies building warehouses and offices or workers spending their paychecks.
The direct impact alone was enormous: the study counted more than 46,000 people directly employed.
Included in the 2014 update will be a focus on sustainability, Tunstall said.
UTSA’s Cline Shale report looked at 10 counties in West Texas’ Permian Basin. The Permian has multiple shale layers, but the Cline in the northeastern counties has garnered lots of attention and speculation about its potential.
By 2020 in the Cline Shale area, UTSA estimates the economic impact of the industry could be anywhere from $7.5 billion on the low end to $34 billion under intense development. UTSA considers $20 billion to be a moderate projection.