Aresco LP is right in the thick of the oil boom in the Eagle Ford Shale area and you can be too! If you’d like to learn more about oil & gas investing, please download our white paper, Oil & Gas Interests Explored, or give us a call at 972-992-3127 today!
KENEDY — With crumbling walls and a leaky roof, the old cottonseed oil mill south of town has been adrift in decay since the industry faded here more than 50 years ago, becoming a public eyesore and a financial drag for its owner.
“I tried to give it away many times. I tried to talk the Foster boys into tearing it down and selling the old bricks, but no one would ever do it,” recalled C.L. Freeny, 94, who bought the building in 1970 when it was used to store grain. “I was tired of paying taxes and not getting any income.”
Finally, about a dozen years ago, Freeny managed to give the massive structure and 15 acres to friends. He thus was astonished to learn it is being reclaimed from the brush and rot to become a restaurant for oil field workers.
If all goes well, “Drillers,” with table space for 300 diners, a large bar, an outside patio and a spacious dance hall, will open this spring, after an outlay of several million dollars by a Florida investor.
“I was surprised. Amazed would be a better word,” said Freeny, who finds the madcap growth that the Eagle Ford Shale boom is bringing to Karnes County equally incredible. “I couldn’t imagine this area ever amounting to a hill of beans. It was at the bottom of the barrel economically.”
The improbable and expensive plan to convert a derelict mill into the largest restaurant in the area aptly captures the dramatic changes sweeping Karnes County, long one of the poorest in the state.
The numbers tell part of the story: From 2009 to 2013, the county tax base rose from $513 million to $7.1 billion, and the volume of oil pumped here increased from 318,952 barrels in 2009 to nearly 46 million barrels through the first 10 months of 2013.
In the past four years, more than 2,000 drilling permits have been issued for Karnes County, which regularly leads the state in oil production.
The flood of cash into public coffers and to private landowners, measured annually in the hundreds of millions of dollars, is rapidly remaking the face and fabric of the county.
Aresco LP is right in the thick of things in the Eagle Ford Shale area and you can be too! If you’d like to learn more about oil & gas investing, please download our white paper, Oil & Gas Interests Explored, or give us a call at 972-992-3127 today!