While the oil boom in Texas on Eagle Ford Shale and Barnet Shale is most welcome from an economic standpoint, the boom, unfortunately, has its drawbacks.
Everyone knows that working in the oil and gas industry is among one of the most dangerous occupations. And now a number of these already dangerous positions are being further exposed to another deadly danger: truck accidents.
The oil boom in the Eagle Ford Shale play has brought hordes of workers into the area. These workers have occupied every single inch of housing, overwhelming utilities, city services and retail businesses. And experts only expect for these numbers to grow, estimating that by 2025, there will be another 8,000 rig workers living on the western edges of the shale.
The influx of people has also quickly overwhelmed the roads.
Highways and county roads are now being used by more people than they were designed to accommodate, and as such the roadways have seen an increase in serious car and truck accidents. In addition to more personal vehicles using the roadways in South Texas, oil and gas traffic has increased. More heavy tankers and 18-wheeler trucks have been using the roadways.
Earlier this year, two Eagle Ford Shale workers were killed after their truck left the road and rolled into the ditch. In their case, it was a personal pickup truck and not a heavy tanker. It is believed, however, that fatigue – rig workers often work extremely long days with little sleep – likely caused the accident.
So whether in the case of fatigued workers getting behind the wheel, or heavy traffic taxing and overwhelming the roads, there has been an increase in truck crashes, and this pattern will likely continue as the infrastructure in South Texas was not meant to support the oil boom.
Related resource: MySanAntonio.com, “The bad comes with the good in oil boom.”