The oil and gas industry in the Eagle Ford Shale is growing so much that it is helping to create "entire communities" in some areas of South Texas, according to Kevin Robins, general manager of Job News USA in San Antonio.
"Overall it's been a positive effect, I would say so much that it's even effected the overall employment rate for all of South Texas for the better," Robins told NGI's Shale Daily. "It brings a ton of jobs, and the best part about it is they not only bring oil and gas jobs, they spawn entire communities in places...they need to open up schools, open up doctor's offices, etc."
A job fair to be held Dec. 7 in Robstown, TX, is expected to attract as many as 2,500 job-seekers for about 1,500 positions, virtually all of them Eagle Ford-related, Robins said. Job News USA's last job fair, held last month in the tiny town of Beeville, TX, attracted about twice as many resumes as there were openings. "There were people who came from everywhere for that one," Robins said. "There were close to 2,000 people who came to that one."
But there has been some downside to the demand for Eagle Ford workers in the area. It can be hard for other companies to compete with oil and gas companies, Robins said. "It's kind of a no-brainer," for those looking for jobs as drivers, for example.
"Do you take a job as a driver for $45,000 a year with a regular company, or do you take a job as a driver with oil and gas and you're sometimes making close to a six-figure income, just because you're with the right company?"
Researchers at the University of Texas at San Antonio (UTSA) have said the Eagle Ford Shale accounts for 6% of the gross regional product in South Texas and generated nearly $3 billion in revenue in 2010 (see Shale Daily, Feb. 25). "Under moderate assumptions, by 2020 (in 2010 dollars), the Eagle Ford Shale is expected to account for close to $11.6 billion in gross state product, $21.6 billion in total economic output (or revenues) impact, and support close to 67,971 full-time jobs in the area," according to a UTSA study.