EOG Resources: The Gas Corporation That Does It All From Cradle to Grave

Read time: 5 mins

DeSmogBlog, on multiple occasions, has reported that the damage caused by hydraulic fracturing, or “fracking” in the unconventional oil and gas industry goes far beyond water contamination, put in the spotlight by the documentary film “Gasland.” The multi-pronged harms were tackled in a comprehensive manner in our report, “Fracking the Future.”

One corporation in particular, EOG Resources, epitomizes the shale gas lifecycle from cradle to grave and the damage it is causing in communities worldwide. 

Who is EOG? The Artist Formerly Known as Enron

EOG Resources – owned by CEO Mark Papa – is the born again sibling of the now disgraced corporation, Enron Oil and Gas, hence “EOG.” It is headquarted in Houston, TX.

Former President and Chief Opearing Officer of Enron, Richard Kinder, recently referred to by The Wall Street Journal as “The Luckiest Ex-Enron Employee,” now co-owns oil and gas industry pipeline giant, Kinder Morgan

After the fall of Enron, Kinder Morgan purchased Enron's pipeline assets and built up the Kinder Morgan behemoth into what it is today, the corporation with the most extensive array of pipelines in North America.

In October 2011, Kinder Morgan purchased El Paso Oil and Gas Company as a wholly owned subsidiary. Of the transaction, Richard Kinder stated, “We are delighted to close the El Paso transaction and we are very excited about the natural gas footprint that we now have in the United States with the addition of approximately 44,000 miles of natural gas pipelines from El Paso.”

Kinder Morgan, like its cousin EOG, is headquarted in Houston, TX.

EOG is involved in every major aspect of the fracking industry, both in North America and globallyfrac sand miningfrackingpipelines, and LNG terminals. A review of its global assets serves as Exhibit A of the shale gas lifecycle in action.

EOG and Frac Sand Mining

The frac sand mines of northwest Wisconsin and eastern Minnesota are the “cradle” or “infancy” stage of shale gas production. Without this sand, there is, simply put, no fracking, though the proppants can be manufactured artificially for a higher price. This was explained recently in DeSmogBlog's short documentary film, “Sand Land,” worth seeing as an introductory primer on the topic.

EOG Resources is heavily invested in the frac sand commodity market. It owns at least three mines in northwest Wisconsin, according to a July 2011 investigative report published by the Wisconsin Center for Investigative Jounalism, and another mine in Cooke County, Texas. Sharon Wilson explained some of the impacts the mine will have in northern Texas on her blog “Texas Sharon,” writing,

This facility will use 3,700 gallons of water per minute, 24 hours per day, 7 days per week, year round and we do not know the longevity of the mine other than the permanent box was checked on the permit application.

To put that water use into perspective: according to the US Geological Survey, the average person uses 80 to 100 gallons of water per day. So EOG will use more water in one minute than you use in a month. They will use 1,944,720.000 gallons of water a year, which is enough water for 53,280 people for a year.

From the frac sand mines of Wisconsin and Texas, EOG transports the prized commodity to shale basins nationwide for fracking.

EOG and Fracking

EOG Resources also has a major foothold in shale basins throughout the United States and Canada, and indeed, the entire world.

A look at its Operations Map shows shale assets in the U.S.-based Marcellus, Eagle Ford, Barnett, and Bakken Shale basins and other places, as well as operations in Canada's Horn River Shale. It also owns assets in Argentina, the United Kingdom, China and Trinidad & Tobago. 

This adds up to a net total of 2.54 billion barrels of oil reserves owned throughout the world, according to its Operations Map.

From shale gas basins, the fracked gas has to go somewhere to have any value – not that this always happens. The transport method is, almost always in the case of gas, pipelines. Enter EOG's pipeline assets.

EOG and Gas Pipelines

EOG, like its cousin Kinder Morgan, maintains many key pipelines that connect fracked gas from shale gas basins to the marketplace. EOG owns Pecan Pipeline Company, a subsidiary that focuses on piping fracked gas out of the Eagle Ford Shale to key markets.

Most prominently, EOG also co-owns the Pacific Trail Pipelines – along with Apache Canada Ltd. and EnCana Corporation – which pipes gas fracked from Canada's Horn River Shale basin westward to Kitimat, British Columbia.

Why Kitimat, of all places? Kitimat is home to three LNG export terminals, which, when operations begin, will ship much of the gas to lucrative Asian export markets.

This is why Pacific Trail Pipelines touts its role in the “transportation of natural gas from western Canada to Asian markets.” For those willing to look, it is no secret.

EOG and LNG Exports

As I wrote in an article that appeared on the news and opinion website Nation of Change back in April,

Kitimat, British Columbia is home to three LNG export facilities: the Kitimat LNG Facility, the B.C. LNG Facility, and a facility co-owned by Royal Dutch Shell and PetroChina. Kitimat LNG is co-owned by EnCana, EOG Resources and Apache, while B.C. LNG is run by Douglas Channel Energy Partnership in a complex co-ownership arrangement. 

In other words, Kitimat LNG is co-owned by the same companies that co-own the Pacific Trails Pipeline, the tributary that brings the fracked gas to the terminal to be super-chilled and sent to Asian markets to begin with. 

Hazardous From Cradle to Grave

From the frac sand mines of northwestern Wisconsin, eastern Minnesota, Texas and Arkansas; to shale gas basins around the world; from the unmonitored and unregulated pipelines that take that fracked gas and ship it to market; and lastly, to LNG export terminals; the unconventional gas industry is destoying the ecological landscape from cradle to grave.

EOG is perhaps the best example that “does it all” from cradle to grave, and a case study of how the gas industry really works.

Image Credit: Photo Courtesy of Wikimedia

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