The Eagle Ford Shale region in South Texas is potentially one of the largest oil and natural gas "plays" ever discovered in the United States. The Eagle Ford Shale has recently been descended upon by major players in the oil and gas industry as they seek to turn a profit from the valuable deposits. By using recent technological advances in the fields of horizontal drilling and hydraulic fracking, these companies are working hard to reach the valuable oil and gas in the easily "frackable" shale.

The rush to South Texas by these oil and gas companies has put a major strain on the infrastructure of the region. Existing industrial buildings and office space are largely filled and hotels, motels and temporary housing are fully booked. In addition, many companies who will service the oil and gas wells have not yet arrived which indicates that demand for industrial real estate will only increase in the months and years to come.

Where did the Eagle Ford Shale get its name?

The Eagle Ford Shale got its name from a small town near Dallas where you can see the outcropping of the Eagle Ford Shale formation in the rocks with your bare eyes.This article from the Pleasanton Express News gives the best explanation that we've found.

How big is the Eagle Ford Shale formation?

There are varying opinions of the size of the Eagle Ford Shale formation, but best estimate is 18,000 to 20,000 square miles. The boundaries of the Eagle Ford Shale that we use on the map we created measures out in Google Earth to roughly 18,000 square miles, and these boundaries are widely used throughout the industry. It is possible that the Eagle Ford Shale formation is larger than what is pictured on our map and only time will tell as more discoveries are made.

Where is the most drilling activity in the Eagle Ford Shale? What is the rig count?

The Texas Railroad Commission produces a revised map every month that graphically depicts where wells in the Eagle Ford have been completed and permitted. The EagleFordShale.com website does a great job of summarizing this data (and other data) as wells are drilled and the site is updated regularly. At the end of 2012, La Salle County and Karnes County were the two counties with the most drilling activity in the Eagle Ford. However, the following counties are experiencing heavy drilling activity as well: Dimmit, Webb, McMullen, Live Oak, Gonzales & Dewitt counties. The rig count can be easily found here.

Where is the most real estate activity in the Eagle Ford Shale?

A number of cities/areas in the Eagle Ford Shale are experiencing unprecedented commercial real estate activity and growth. On the far southwest side of the trend, Carrizo Springs (Dimmit County) has seen the most activity, but Asherton has experienced a lot of growth as well. Moving east to northeast, you get to Cotulla (La Salle County), which is "ground zero" for commercial development and drilling activity along the I-35 corridor. Dilley and Pearsall, north of Cotulla on I-35, have seen quality, unprecedented growth along the Interstate. Moving further east/northeast, you'll reach Pleasanton in Atascosa County along the Hwy 97 & I-37 corridors. Pleasanton, the most developed of all the small towns in the Eagle Ford, has probably experienced more retail and industrial development than any other area/location in the Eagle Ford. South of Pleasanton on the I-37 and Hwy 281 corridors, Three Rivers is the hot spot, with George West seeing its fair share of activity. East of Pleasanton brings you to Kenedy in Karnes County of Hwy 181 and Hwy 72. This area is "ground zero" on the east side of the play both for drilling and commercial development. Travel northeast and you'll arrive in Cuero (Dewitt County). Cuero, similar to Pleasanton, was a nicely developed small town prior to the boom, but now Cuero is experiencing all types of new development. Outside of the trend, San Antonio (Bexar County), Sequin (Guadalupe), Corpus Christi (Nueces), and Victoria (Victoria) are all experiencing major, positive effects from the Eagle Ford.

Why is so much real estate activity in the Pleasanton area when all the drilling is south, southeast and southwest of Pleasanton?

As they say in real estate -  Location, Location, Location. Pleasanton is uniquely situated just 40 minutes south of San Antonio and geographically in the middle of the Eagle Ford Shale trend.  Read this blog post for a more detailed explanation.

How long will the Eagle Ford Shale play last?

Two economists have estimated that the Eagle Ford Shale Play could last anywhere from 16 to 25 years.

For more information about the Eagle Ford Shale, including maps, resources, demographics and market news, please visit: www.colliers.com/texas/eagleford