Shale Bust Hits Rural Communities As Oil Royalties Plunge

The oil price collapse is hurting not only U.S. shale firms and their drilling activities. The crash has severely crippled the royalty payments to a dozen million American oil and gas royalty owners of land on which companies pump oil.  The value of the monthly checks to royalty owners in South Texas—home to the Eagle Ford shale play—has plummeted since the beginning of the year, due to the declining activity of oil firms which hastened to idle rigs after oil prices collapsed in early March, Reuters correspondent Jennifer Hiller…