Fifteen of the region’s 19 counties produce oil and gas. In 2008, they produced 5.2 million barrels of oil, 4.4 billion cubic feet of casinghead gas (a mixture of unrefined gases that can include methane, butane and propane), 232 billion cubic feet of natural gas (gas well gas) and 2.7 million barrels of condensate (natural gas liquids). Atascosa, Calhoun, DeWitt, Guadalupe and Jackson counties led the region in energy production (Exhibit 35).39
The Texas Railroad Commission (RRC) is the state’s oil and gas regulatory agency. RRC has 12 district offices; the northwestern section of the Alamo region is in RRC district 1, while its southeastern section is in RRC District 2.
Alamo Region, Oil and Gas Production, 1993-2008
Source: Raliroad Commission of Texas.
Fifteen of the region’s 19 counties produce oil and gas.
Bexar and Medina counties once produced lignite coal along and south of the Balcones Fault in “trends,” or subsurface formations, known as the Claiborne and Jackson Group.40 Most coal produced in Texas is consumed on site to provide electricity (in what are called “mine mouth” operations). Today, Atascosa County is the region’s only county producing coal, according to the U.S. Energy Information Administration. In 2007, one surface mine produced 3.1 million short tons.41 (A short ton is 2,000 pounds.)
Natural gas is the fuel of choice for most of the Alamo region’s electricity generation facilities built since 1995. The region has 13 electricity generation plants with a combined generating capacity of 4,569 megawatts (MW) operating or under construction – six in Bexar County, two in Calhoun County, one in Frio County, two in Guadalupe County and two in Victoria County. Nine of these plants use natural gas as a fuel; two use coal; one uses landfill gas, a renewable resource; and one, an industrial facility, uses petroleum coke.42
The entire Alamo region lies within the boundaries of the Electric Reliability Council of Texas (ERCOT), the electric grid system that manages the electricity needs of 22 million Texans. ERCOT’s grid covers 75 percent of the state’s land area and carries 85 percent of its electric load.43
According to ERCOT, in summer 2009 the region had a total generation capacity of 7,338 MW. ERCOT estimates that capacity will rise to 8,483 MW by 2011, as new plants open.44
Perhaps reflecting the Alamo region’s rural past, electrical providers in the area include eight municipally owned utilities and 11 electric cooperatives (Exhibit 36).45
Alamo Region, Municipally Owned Utilities and Member-Owned Cooperatives
|Entity Name||Counties in Service Area|
|City Public Service||Bexar|
|Cuero Electric Utility||DeWitt|
|Fredericksburg Electric Utility||Gillespie|
|Gonzales Electric System||Gonzales|
|Hondo Electric System||Medina|
|Kerrville Public Utility Board||Kerr|
|New Braunfels Utilities||Comal|
|Seguin Electric System||Guadalupe|
|Entity Name||Counties in Service Area|
|Bandera Electric Cooperative||Bandera, Bexar, Kendall, Kerr, Medina, Real, Uvalde|
|Bluebonnet Electric Cooperative||Austin, Bastrop, Burleson, Caldwell, Colorado, Fayette, Gonzales, Guadalupe, Hays, Lee, Milam, Travis, Washington, Williamson|
|Central Texas Electric Cooperative||Blanco, Gillespie, Kendall, Kerr, Kimble, Llano, Mason, McCulloch, Menard, Real, San Saba|
|Fayette Electric Cooperative||Austin, Bastrop, Colorado, Fayette, Lavaca, Lee, Washington|
|Guadalupe Valley Electric Cooperative||Bexar, Caldwell, Comal, DeWitt, Fayette, Goliad, Gonzales, Guadalupe, Jackson, Karnes, Lavaca, Victoria, Wilson|
|Jackson Electric Cooperative||Brazoria, Calhoun, Jackson, Lavaca, Matagorda|
|Karnes Electric Cooperative||Atascosa, Bee, Bexar, DeWitt, Frio, Goliad, Karnes, LaSalle, Live Oak, McMullen, Medina, Wilson|
|Medina Electric Cooperative||Atascosa, Brooks, Dimmitt, Duval, Edwards, Frio, Jim Hogg, Kinney, LaSalle, McMullen, Medina, Real, Starr, Uvalde, Webb, Zapata, Zavala|
|Pedernales Electric Cooperative||Bell, Bexar, Blanco, Burnet, Caldwell, Comal, Edwards, Gillespie, Guadalupe, Hays, Kendall, Kerr, Kimble, Kinney, Lampasas, Llano, Mason, Menard, Real, San Saba, Schleicher, Sutton, Travis, Williamson|
|San Patricio Electric Cooperative||Aransas, Bee, Goliad, Jim Wells, Live Oak, McMullen, Nueces, Refugio, San Patricio|
|Victoria Electric Cooperative||Calhoun, DeWitt, Goliad, Jackson, Refugio, Victoria|
Public Utility Commission of Texas, Texas Electric Cooperatives.
All links were valid at the time of publication. Changes to web sites not maintained by the office of the Texas Comptroller may not be reflected in the links below.
- 38 Exelon Generation, “Exelon to Seek Early Site Permit for Texas Location,” Victoria, Texas, June 30, 2009, (press release); and “Exelon Generation Submits License Application for New Nuclear Energy Plant,” Victoria, Texas, September 3, 2008, (Press release.) (Last visited August 27, 2009.)
- 39 Data supplied by the Railroad Commission of Texas, July 24, 2009.
- 40 Railroad Commission of Texas, “Historical Coal Mining in Texas,” (Last visited August 26, 2009.)
- 41 U.S. Energy Information Administration, “Coal Production and Number of Mines by State, County and Mine Type,” (Last visited August 26, 2009.)
- 42 Public Utility Commission of Texas, “New Electric Generating Plants in Texas,” and “Market Directories & Utilities: Electric Companies Serving Texas,” (Last visited August 11, 2009.) Comptroller calculations from maps in PowerPoint and data in Excel.
- 43 Electric Reliability Council of Texas, “Company Profile,” (Last visited August 27, 2009.)
- 44 Electric Reliability Council of Texas, Report on the Capacity, Demand and Reserves in the ERCOT Region: System Planning (Taylor, Texas, May 2009), pp. 33-37. (Last visited August 27, 2009.)
- 45 Texas Electric Cooperatives, “TEC Members by County,” (Last visited August 27, 2009.)