The People of America's Oil and Natural Gas Indusry

Energy Today - May 23, 2011

Rayola Dougher

Rayola Dougher
Posted May 23, 2011

ExxonMobil's Perspectives Blog: A $1 Trillion Contribution to the National Economy: A study released this month by PricewaterhouseCoopers shows that the U.S. oil and natural gas industry is a foundational part of the U.S. economy - throughout the ups and downs. The numbers show that even during the 2008 economic crisis and ensuing recession - when U.S. crude oil prices fell from a high of $145 a barrel to a low of $30 a barrel -the U.S. oil and gas industry remained a steady source of economic activity and job creation. According to the study, in 2009 the operations and capital investments from the U.S. oil and natural gas industry: Supported 9.2 million American jobs - about 1 in every 20 jobs. Accounted for 7.7 percent of U.S. GDP, up from 7.5 percent in 2007. Had an economic impact that reached all 50 states and the District of Columbia. The top 15 states in percentage of jobs supported by the industry were Wyoming, Louisiana, Texas, Oklahoma, Alaska, North Dakota, New Mexico, West Virginia, Delaware, Kansas, Montana, Mississippi, Colorado, Arkansas and Utah. While some of these are known energy producing states, it's also interesting to note large job numbers in other states. For example, the industry supported about 900,000 jobs in California, about 275,000 jobs in Pennsylvania and about 250,000 jobs in New York. Houston Chronicle: Eagle Ford's Calling Card: Help Wanted: Just two year ago, no one would have suspected that Dimmit County, pegged by the U.S. census as the 19th-poorest county in the United States, would be at the heart of a boom. There were few wells being drilled in the region, and local businesses were begging for customers. But drilling in the Eagle Ford, a 400-mile-long formation stretching from East Texas to Webb County, has touched off a hiring frenzy in South Texas that is generating thousands of jobs...Not all of the jobs are in the oil patch. Oil companies have quickly opened field offices to supervise drilling in San Antonio and nearby cities. A Canadian oil-services company is now the biggest employer in Cibolo, and oil field service companies are bidding top dollar for space in Pleasanton's once- moribund industrial park. The job explosion is expected to continue. Last year, the Eagle Ford shale generated 6,800 full-time jobs and paid $311 million in salaries and benefits, according to a study completed in February by the University of Texas at San Antonio's Center for Community and Business Research. When spinoff jobs are included -- from wholesalers to waiters - the study found the development in the shale play supported 12,600 jobs and paid $512 million in salaries.Los Angeles Times: Prairie Schools Find a Lifeline, but the State Wants to Share the Wealth: Not only has there been rain the last few years in a land usually so empty and dusty you can barely coax wheat out of it; but with a massive bed of oil-laced rock deep under the border of Montana and North Dakota, and with new technology finally able to plumb it, suddenly there are drilling rigs and construction trucks rumbling in on highways heretofore traveled mainly by broken farmers headed for the exits. Nowhere has the bonanza been more apparent than in the small prairie schools that have sprung up over the decades alongside the grain elevators, volunteer fire stations and Rexall drug stores. From Sidney on the North Dakota border in the north to here in Baker, 3½ hours east of Billings, the rural school districts atop the fabled Bakken formation and Cedar Creek Anticline are awash in cash. Baker, a town of 1,700 with 401 students in its three aging schools, has $43.5 million in the bank, more than 13 times its entire annual operating budget. The district is breaking ground on an $8.4-million expansion and renovation that will mean a new gym, classrooms and band room. In Sidney, where enrollment has nearly doubled over the last several years (15 new students showed up in the last six weeks alone), the schools just put in a new paneled library so big the students call it "Barnes & Noble." Lambert, with just 90 students, has more than $10 million in the bank..

Additional Resources:

The Hill's E2 Wire: Hutchison: Obama's Not Doing Enough on Domestic Drilling

BusinessTrends Blog: The Potential of Shale Gas

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

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.