That's the question that keeps dogging the South Texas oil and gas field.
Even as thousands of workers and major oil and gas companies flood into the region, investors have been reluctant to invest in houses, apartments and other permanent infrastructure. A when-will-it-bust mentality hangs over the region.
But participants in the San Antonio Clean Technology Forum's Eagle Ford Forum II event Tuesday said the oil and gas development appears to be here to stay, and that it's time for the region to figure out how to manage everything from water issues to roads.
Lance Robertson, vice president of Eagle Ford operations for Marathon Oil Corp., said the South Texas fields are “almost without peer” in terms of productivity, and that operators will continue to work there even if oil prices drop.
“The Eagle Ford really stands apart from almost every other play,” Robertson said. “This is going to be the last bastion of activity if you see a low price environment.”
That's why Robertson said the company and other operators in the region have been baffled by the reluctance of developers to build homes, or of banks to lend to developers. Robertson said Marathon employees in the region — and those of other operators — are making the kind of salaries that can easily support home-buying.