The People of America's Oil and Natural Gas Indusry

Energy Today - April 18, 2011

Rayola Dougher

Rayola Dougher
Posted April 18, 2011

The News-Messenger: Ohio Shale Deposits Hold Potential for Oil, Gas, Jobs: Drilling jobs could be created in eastern Ohio, where unemployment rates are much higher than the state and national averages. Some landowners there already have benefited, getting thousands of dollars per acre from mineral extractors competing over increasingly fewer tracts...Robert Chase, head of the petroleum engineering department at Marietta College, said Ohio should be able to supply the necessary decision-making personnel -- engineers, geologists -- but the challenge will be in preparing a labor force at the technician level -- pumpers, drill operators -- to meet what could be an immediate jump in demand. "I think what we have to do now, we need to rapidly scale up programs at all levels, but especially at the two-year school level and the career center (work force retraining) level," he said. Wall Street Journal: Environmental Review Affirms Safety of Canada-U.S. Pipeline: A U.S. State Department review of TransCanada Corp.'s controversial Keystone XL pipeline expansion affirmed the government's earlier conclusion that the pipeline meets environmental and safety standards...The Keystone XL project would ship up to 1.1 million barrels a day of crude oil from Canada 1,900 miles south to refineries on the U.S. Gulf Coast. It would create more infrastructure for exports from Canada's growing oil-sands industry, which supplies about half of the 1.9 million barrels a day Canada ships to the U.S. Hit Hard in Oil Spill and Moratorium, Houma is Optimistic About the Future: "Our market was doing good, the rates were good, and the employment was one of the best Houma ever had," said Nail, who co-owns RE/MAX Good Earth Realty in Terrebonne Parish. "Then we had the oil spill -- and it was like a switch went off." But now, a year after BP's Macondo well erupted...the coastal community that touts itself as "the hub of the bayou region" is still reeling from an economic slowdown that has lingered long after the White House lifted a moratorium on deepwater drilling..."In south Louisiana, if you don't have the oil industry, you don't have people," Ordoyne said. "You don't have anything. So the biggest way it affects us is if people move away, there's no one down here, there's nothing for us to do."

Wall Street Journal: Oil Without Apologies: Democrats are now arguing, as Mr. Obama did in his speech, that the oil industry already "holds tens of millions of acres of leases where it's not producing a drop." Some are advocating "use it or lose it," calling for the government to strip oil companies of their leases if they don't immediately start producing. Mr. Watson explains why this is bogus. Only one-third of Chevron's offshore leases are classified as "producing" oil and gas today. The other two-thirds either are "unsuccessful" (they don't hold viable oil or gas) or "are in varying stages of development--seismic work, drilling wells, constructing facilities." Mr. Watson says companies would be crazy to sit on productive lands, since leases require costly bonus payments and annual rental payments to the government. If Washington institutes Mr. Obama's "use it or lose it" policy, Mr. Watson says, it will mean less U.S. oil production.

Additional Resources:

Houston Chronicle: Push to Drill Puts Houston Services in High Demand Florida Tourism Would Not Exist Without Oil and Natural Gas

Houston Chronicle: A Year After the Oil Spill


Rayola Dougher is senior economist at The American Petroleum Institute (API), where she analyzes information, manages projects and develops briefing materials on energy markets and oil industry policy issues. She is the author or co-author of economic research studies covering a diverse range of topics including crude oil and petroleum product markets, gasoline taxes, energy conservation and competition in retail markets. In addition to testifying before federal and state legislators, she has participated in numerous newspaper, radio and television interviews on a wide range of issues affecting the oil industry, including crude oil and gasoline prices, industry taxes and earnings, exploration and production, and refining and marketing topics.

Prior to joining API, Rayola worked at the Institute for Energy Analysis where her research focused on carbon dioxide related issues and international energy demand and supply forecasts. Rayola holds a Masters degree in Economic Development and East Asian studies from the American University and a degree in History and Political Science from the State University of New York at Brockport.