Horizontal Oil Play To Boost Corpus Christi Economy

The Eagle Ford shale horizontal oil and gas play does not lie underneath Corpus Christi Texas or Nueces County, but the Texas coastal city could still reap many benefits from it. In the photo below, which I recently took of the Corpus Christi ship channel, you can see a small part of the huge refinery complex that runs for miles inland along the waterway.

Photo Of Corpus Christi Refineries and Ship Channel

For years the oilfields of Texas have been in decline and much of the crude refined in Corpus Christi has been delivered by tankers coming from foreign ports. All of that could change due to what has been hailed as one of the largest domestic discoveries of oil in over forty years, the Eagle Ford shale.  Crude oil and condensate from the Eagle Ford shale oil discovery will be refined in Corpus Christi, but the question remains “how much?”.  Flint Hills Resources wants to see a lot of it reach Corpus Christi refineries such as the one that they operate. Flint Hills Resources employs over 900 people in the Corpus Christi area and is the largest taxpayer in Nueces county. Their refinery complex currently can process over 300,000 barrels a day. Eagle Ford shale production may reach as much as one million barrels a day in the next couple of years.  Flint Hills Resources affiliate, Koch Pipeline, has spent over 100 million on projects to bring Eagle Ford shale oil to Corpus Christi and the Coastal Bend.

Flint Hills Resources Looking At Naval Base In Ingleside, TX For Eagle Ford Shale Oil Terminal

Flint Hills Resources has expressed a desire to purchase the old Navy Base at Ingleside Texas. The following is a statement released to the Corpus Christi Caller Times by Flint Hills Resources vice president Phil Gaardner.

“Flint Hills also is willing to create the infrastructure to ship Eagle Ford production from its existing Ingleside terminal to other Gulf Coast refineries. As we evaluated our options to do so, the Naval Station Ingleside small-craft pier adjacent to our crude oil terminal appeared to be a timely, efficient and economic way to make this happen.

We approached the Port to gauge interest in selling a small portion of the former Navy base. Late last year, the Port conferred with the then-existing option holder. That option holder agreed and discussions with Flint Hills proceeded. Flint Hills’ interest was disclosed in December as a part of the contract that had been negotiated with the developer. In January the Port notified other potential buyers that the small craft pier and 375 feet of adjacent wharf would be sold separately.

Our $8 million offer is more than the appraised value. Also, if Flint Hills is successful in acquiring this property, we are prepared to spend as much as $20 million to upgrade it to make it suitable for use with the equipment used to move production economically. Any user of the small-craft pier for ocean-going vessels would eventually need to make similar upgrades.”

Eagle Ford Shale To Boost Coastal Bend Oilfield Business

The Coastal Bend and Corpus Christi Texas have long been home to many oilfield service companies and suppliers. Oilfield related companies such as Atlas Tubular, (seen in the photo below), a supplier of oilfield pipe, are experiencing a boom in business with all of the rigs drilling in the Eagle Ford shale to the north. Though these businesses are located some distance from the Eagle Ford shale play, they have the advantage of proximity to rail lines and the Port Of Corpus Christi, as well as major highways such as IH-37 and US-77.

Atlas Tubular, an oilfield business in Robstown, TX near Corpus Christi.

Corpus Christi Texas is a city desperately in need of an economic “shot in the arm”. Hopefully the boom in oilfield and refinery business will provide more jobs for local residents and tax revenue for area government.

For more about the new oil discovery see EagleFordShaleBlog.com