The People of America's Oil and Natural Gas Indusry

Energy Today - June 6, 2011

Rayola Dougher

Rayola Dougher
Posted June 6, 2011

Houston Chronicle: Shale Work Benefits Railroads: Wherever oil and natural gas comes out of the ground, plenty of people make money, from the landowners and investors to the drilling equipment companies and crew workers. So do the companies that provide services to those people. The railroads are among those companies, and they are grateful for the new South Texas oil and gas play known as the Eagle Ford shale. Omaha, Neb.-based Union Pacific Corp. has reopened a nearly dormant switching yard near downtown, has reactivated short lines in South Texas and has organized two new business development units, one to track down new customers and another to assist existing customers with their expanded needs stemming from the Eagle Ford...Union Pacific has not only rehired all the Texas workers it furloughed during the 2007-09 recession, it now is hiring new workers in Eagle Pass, Laredo and San Antonio, including for the reopened East Yard in San Antonio, which already has added about 25 employees. The Roanoke Times: Bureaucracy Hobbles Oil Production: The oil industry's great capacity for technological progress and its long-standing commitment to safety are such that now we should be talking about continued growth of the Gulf of Mexico offshore production: what level it might reach, what economic advantages would flow from it and how it might be the foundation of deepwater drilling off Virginia and other parts of the U.S. Outer Continental Shelf...With gasoline and diesel fuel ranging in the area of $4 a gallon, we would be foolish to turn our back on domestic oil resources that can reduce our dependence on oil from dangerous or unstable countries. Oil imports now cost Americans more than $1 billion a day. On the other hand, every additional million barrels of domestic oil produced generates a million new jobs, many of them high-paying, and $30 billion in economic activity, which also can help reduce the U.S. trade deficit.

ExxonMobil's Perspectives Blog: There's More in a Barrel of Oil than Just Gasoline: In addition to producing gasoline and other transportation fuels, oil is used to make an array of products essential to the way we live - everything from life-saving medical equipment to the plastics used in computers and cell phones. First, a few facts: Gasoline accounts for less than one half of the products made from a barrel of crude in the United States. Roughly another third goes to making the diesel and jet fuels that power commercial transportation and personal travel. So what about the rest of the barrel? Oil is an important source of raw materials for making plastics and other chemical products. When crude is refined, two of the products that result from additional chemical processing are ethylene and propylene; these petrochemicals are the building blocks of modern plastics...It would be difficult to overstate the role that petrochemicals have played in achieving the quality of life we enjoy today. Modern healthcare would be impossible without medical products made from petrochemicals - such as disposable syringes, catheters and blood bags, as well as artificial joints used in hip and knee replacements. Even common hand sanitizers are 65 percent petrochemicals. Cell phones and smart phones wouldn't exist without components made from oil. These modern electronics contain up to 40 percent or more of plastics derived from petrochemicals.

Additional Resources:

The New York Times: America's Energy Options

PhillyBurbs.com: Cawley: No Evidence of Pollution from Fracking

Platts: Natural Gas to Represent Over 25% of Global Energy Mix by 2035: IEA

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.