Eagle Ford drilling comes to Milam County locations
There’s drilling in the Eagle Ford Shale formation in Milam County and it’s projected to grow in upcoming months.
The Post Oak Savannah Groundwater Conservation District (POSGCD) Thursday okayed a change in its water permitting processes, allowing short term permits designed to give Eagle Ford producers easier access to the fracking procedure used to extract oil and gas from the shale.
Gary Westbrook, POSGCD general manager, said the change was enacted mostly to assist drillers in Burleson County, where a number of Eagle Ford wells have been drilled, but the activity has now come across the county line into Milam.
“I know of one (Eagle Ford well) between Milano and Gause,” Westbrook said. “There are several along the Burleson-Milam line on both sides.”
SHORT TERM—Westbrook said the short term permits will assist producers in fracking Eagle Ford wells without having to go through an extensive “regular” permitting process.
“These aren’t going to be longterm water users in these sites,” he said. “The short-term permits would allow them to use water for 15 to 30 days and go forward with the business of getting oil and gas,” he said.
“Otherwise there would be a long, drawn-out process, involving hearings, and it would delay the drilling activity,” Westbrook said.
“We believe this is the best way to both protect the aquifers and allow this economic activity to proceed,” he added.
FRACKING—Westbrook said all the Eagle Ford wells involve fracking.
That’s short for “hydraulic fracturing,” a process in which water, sand and othlines er materials are injected into underground rock formations to free pockets of fossil fuels, which are then pumped out.
“The wells in the POSGCD are actually a combination of the Eagle Ford and another formation,” Westbrook said.
“They’ll go down about 9,000 feet, then go horizontally, fracture the shale under pressure and pump out the oil and gas,” he said.
“Activity (in Milam and Burleson) is starting to pick up,” he said. “I think after South Texas, the Central Texas area is the most logical place for the (Eagle Ford) drillers to go.”
MORE THAN IRAQ— It’s difficult to understate the impact of the Eagle Ford boom which has mostly been in South Texas.
More than 7,000 wells have been drilled in the Eagle Ford and the boom shows no sign of receding.
Estimates are that Texas will produce more than three million barrels of oil per day in 2014.
By year’s end Texas is expected to produce more oil than either Iraq or Kuwait and a number of other nations.
Using those estimates, at the end of 2014 if Texas were an independent nation it would be the world’s eighth largest producer of oil.