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January 5, 2012 
Sutherland LTIle  

Like a mining boomtown in the Old West, the Eagle Ford shale play in South Texas has seen an enormous population explosion. And now a Houston-based website has taken on the role of the saloon where people come together to exchange information. (The site has no sarsparilla or fighting over fixed card games, that we know of.)  
We snapped EagleFordShale.com operations director R.T. Dukes this week at his office in the Rice Village area. R.T., a graduate of Texas A&M and a former consultant with Wood Mackenzie’s upstream energy group. He tells us the site’s focus is to keep people apprised of what's happening in the play. The site, which is getting 45,000 visitors each month, includes job listings and a marketplace. R.T. says his company is expanding to serve more shale regions. Look for a Bakken site to launch later this quarter and a Marcellus site to follow in Q2.  
EagleFordShale.com was founded by Mississippi State petroleum engineer Kenny DuBose, shown here sporting his alma mater’s hat on a South Texas frack job in fall 2010. Kenny owns the site’s parent company, KED Interests. There are now about 265 rigs working in the Eagle Ford area. R.T. says a rule of thumb is to count about 50 active jobs for every rig and 150 indirect jobs. The town of Carrizo Springs alone has grown from 10,000 in 2010 to 20,000 today. The town sits in Dimmit County, which has 23 rigs, which means 1,150 active rig jobs alone. It has been estimated that the Eagle Ford has added approximately 12,000 jobs with thousands more on the way.  
The site also has listings for scarce lodging. Hotels, trailers, RVs, apartments, and rental properties are getting harder and harder to find. For a small fee, sellers can obtain an area of the site and manage it themselves. It also links to hotels, man camps, and extended-stay facilities. Though non-energy industries are working fast to respond, progress is still painfully slow. Developers are buying large acres of land but construction is well behind demand. (It's ok, we'll rough it, sleep under the stars, like our forefathers... as long as there's wireless.) On top of that, completed buildings have been sitting for weeks waiting for water and electricity to reach them.  

2011 SAW $170B IN O&G M&A DEALS  
A report released this week says that the global M&A activity for upstream oil and gas deals in 2011 totaled $170B in 726 deals with values disclosed. Houston-based PLS teamed up with international partner Derrick Petroleum Services to get a grip on the figures. The study also shows last year’s total deal value fell 19% from 2010’s record levels, yet the number of deals increased 15% to a record of 726. WTI and Brent oil prices, which averaged $95 and $111 per barrel, respectively, were strong enough for both buyers and sellers to execute the deals. The report predicts that M&A activity this year should stay at a hearty pace as the industry places ample capital on production development.  

Reliant Energy will help “bring the energy” to the Houston Texans playoff game on Saturday against the Cincinnati Bengals. Reliant is extending it’s agreement with METRO to provide free METRORail rides (maybe inside a train with the cool Andre Johnson wrap on it) to and from the stadium. Reliant spokeswoman Patricia Hammond told us yesterday her company also is providing 70,000 commemorative playoff power towels to help the fans “bring the energy” inside Reliant Stadium.  
Finally, fans can take home even more energy by having their picture taken at the Bring The Energy booth and downloading it from the Reliant website.  
Happy National Bird Day. The greater Houston area sits in the center of the Central Flyway, which gives us a chance to see a large range of species. If your company is flying high or thinking outside the cage, let us know and email greg.miller@bisnow.com.  
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