South Texas in general -- and San Antonio in particular -- is growing, both from an economic standpoint as well as in population.

It is the area’s economic growth that experts like noted economist Dr. Ray Perryman says is encouraging.

“Once Toyota came in, you went from a community with no manufacturing to a significant manufacturing center,” Perryman told members of the Northside Chamber of Commerce on Friday. “Now the same thing is happening with the energy industry.”

Perryman was the keynote speaker at the chamber’s 29th Annual Economic Outlook Conference Friday.

His assessment of the impact of oil exploration on the area’s growth is shared by energy economist Dr. John Felmy.

“The estimates are that it could go up to twice what it is now,” Felmy said, as he talked about Eagle Ford oil field exploration.

Felmy said, “It just depends on, of course, world prices and so on, but it’s one of the major success stories in the industry.”

Perryman added a word of caution to his prediction.

“We all need to be aware that increased new resources include new opportunities and we really need to take those opportunities and invest in education and infrastructure,” he said.

He said we need to learn from the mistakes made during previous oil booms.

For a list of recent stories Paul Venema has done, click here.