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Report Offers Grim Predictions for South Texas Air Quality Amid Eagle Ford Oil Boom

State-funded study projects dramatic increase in emissions from oil and gas development by 2018.

Jim Morris, Lisa Song and David Hasemyer

Apr 11, 2014

A facility flares in the Eagle Ford Shale’s Karnes County. Karnes is one of the four counties expected to see the greatest growth in oil and gas activity in the near future, according to a new study. Credit: Lance Rosenfield/Prime

What might the oil- and gas-rich Eagle Ford Shale region of South Texas look like in 2018?

A newly released but largely unnoticed study commissioned by the state of Texas makes some striking projections:

  1. The number of wells drilled in the 20,000-square-mile region could quadruple, from about 8,000 today to 32,000.

  2. Oil production could leap from 363 million barrels per year to as much as 761 million.

  3. Airborne releases of volatile organic compounds (VOCs) could increase 281 percent during the peak ozone season compared to 2012 emissions. VOCs, commonly found at oil and gas production sites, can cause respiratory and neurological problems. Some, like benzene, can cause cancer. For the remainder of this article please click the link to Inside Climate News:


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