An economic energy boom is happening in Texas—from an international gas pipeline and federal government approval for a liquified natural gas (LNG) port facility to wind farms.

The Rio Grande Valley is situated in the midst of two of the largest energy fields in North America, the Eagle Ford Shale of Texas and the emerging Burgos Basin of northern Mexico. The area has seen an increase in employment and spending as a result of the 42 inch international pipeline from the Eagle Ford Shale currently under construction. When complete, it will deliver $7.5 million of natural gas daily to Mexican power plants.

Starr County in the western end of the Rio Grande Valley was chosen as the location for one the largest wind energy projects in the state of Texas—estimated at more than a half billion-dollar investment and add 400 jobs to the area, dramatically increasing spending in the local economy and infusing further investment.

At the opposite end of the Valley, the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) has approved the construction and operation of an LNG export and liquefaction facility. Engineering work is already underway to construct the plant on the north shore of the Brownsville Ship Channel. Another pipeline to be built from the Eagle Ford Shale to the port will deliver gas for liquefaction and loading.

“We currently have five projects that have land options for LNG Export Terminals at the Port of Brownsville,” said port Director Eduardo Campirano. “Those are significant, significant investments. One project alone during construction will produce 3,000 jobs, so you are talking about projects that are in the billions of dollars in private investment. In addition to the LNG projects, cheap natural gas will attract industry to the region.”

Barbara Vergetis Lundin