It has been a rollercoaster ride for the energy companies working south of San Antonio, but experts say the Eagle Ford Shale Formation is poised for a huge rebound, News Rdio 1200 WOAI reports.
"Forty rigs were operating last year and now there are 82 today," Omar Garcia, head of the South Texas Energy and Economic Roundtable tells Newsradio 1200 WOAI. "Oil was hovering around $40 and, today, it's in the high $50s."
At the peak, the shale formation ranked as one of the largest oil and gas developments in the world, and was the poster child for the fracking industry. There were once 265 rigs on line, fueling a $60 billion dollar impact to the state's economy.
Then, in 2014, oil values crashed, going from $107 a barrel down to the $26 a barrel range in 206. Rigs were shuttered. Workers were laid off.
Garcia says the energy companies went back to the drawing board and made process of hydraulic fracturing more efficient. They found a way to survive at the bottom, and are now starting to thrive as oil prices rise.
"Rig counts are going to be from 70 to 100," he predicts. "Will we ever get to 265? It will be difficult because technology is driving the process."
And for that reason, he says rig counts are no longer a good indicator of health."Eagle Ford Crude is being exported from the Port of Corpus Christi," he explains. "That's a sign that things are picking up."