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Oil and gas freight transportation alternatives : final report.
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    Editor’s Note: At the time of this writing (fall 2016), oil prices are rising from recent lows. The effect of the price drop has been to reduce oilfield activity and limit, but not eliminate, additional damage being done to energy-impacted roads. Experience and observation suggest that prices may again rise to a point that repeats the magnitude of damage seen in the period leading up to this report. After 2007, the application of hydraulic fracturing (or fracking) and horizontal drilling techniques led to rapid new development in the oil and natural gas (O&G) industries in many areas of Texas and in other shale formation areas across the United States. Between 2007 and 2014, an increasing demand for O&G products in a favorable market (high prices for Texas O&G products with favorable marginal prices compared to worldwide benchmarks) resulted in dramatically increased drilling activity and associated freight traffic on Texas roadways in energy production areas moving drilling equipment, fracking sand, water, and other energy development-related freight. The Texas A&M Transportation Institute (TTI), in Texas Department of Transportation (TxDOT)–sponsored research and in Transportation Policy Research Center (PRC) reports, has offered a thorough background on the recent O&G drilling activity in Texas and the effects of that activity on the condition and use of state and local roadway infrastructure. The policy project discussed in this report examined potential options regarding the use of rail and pipeline infrastructure to address the growing costs of roadway rehabilitation in the energy production areas of Texas.
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