The People of America's Oil and Natural Gas Indusry

Good News Friday: New Millionaires, Plant Plans, Jobs and Security

Mark Green

Mark Green
Posted June 10, 2011

Happy Friday, and here are some of the positive ways the oil and natural gas industry is affecting life across the country:

Almost heaven? - In Marshall County, West Virginia, the Marcellus shale formation is attracting natural gas development, which in turn is bringing wealth to county residents, West Virginia Public Broadcasting reports on its website. Marshall County Commissioner Donald Mason:

"We have seen several people in our county become instant millionaires with the signing of the leases and some of them are already producing. There are rumors that some people are getting as much as $60,000 a month from their gas wells."

The secondary story is familiar: Income from natural gas leases is rippling into the local economy, increasing business for restaurants, hotels, trucking operations and other enterprises.

'Plastics' - Shell Oil plans to build an ethylene plant somewhere in the Appalachian region to process natural gas liquids from Marcellus shale into material used to make plastics, reports the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review. An announcement on the plant's location and employment will be announced late this year. It could be located in southwest or northeast Pennsylvania, Ohio or West Virginia, a trade group official told the newspaper. Regional economic development officials said construction alone could cost $1 billion and employ 250 workers. "This is a wonderful example of how this domestic regional natural gas development can spin off other businesses," said Kathryn Klaber, president of the Marcellus Shale Coalition.

Job Support - The oil and natural gas industry supports 2 million jobs in Texas and 24 percent of the state's economy, according to a study by PricewaterhouseCoopers. Nationally, the study found that between 2007 and 2009 economic activity supported by the industry increased in size as a percentage of GDP from 7.5 to 7.7 percent. "The people of the U.S. oil and natural gas industry are the backbone of our economy," said API President and CEO Jack Gerard.

Energy Security - And perhaps the best news of the week, with smart policies, secure supplies from the United States and Canada could provide 92% of America's liquid fuel needs by 2030, while creating jobs and providing more revenue for government programs.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Mark Green joined API after a career in newspaper journalism, including 16 years as national editorial writer for The Oklahoman in the paper’s Washington bureau. Mark also was a reporter, copy editor and sports editor. He earned his journalism degree from the University of Oklahoma and master’s in journalism and public affairs from American University. He and his wife Pamela live in Occoquan, Va., where they enjoy their four grandchildren.