The People of America's Oil and Natural Gas Indusry

Energy Today - June 15, 2011

Rayola Dougher

Rayola Dougher
Posted June 15, 2011

Carpe Diem: A New Age of Energy Abundance in the U.S.: According to data released recently by the Energy Information Administration, U.S. natural gas production set a new monthly record in March of 2.4 trillion cubic feet (see chart above). This production record is another new milestone for the ongoing success of the hydraulic fracturing method of extracting natural gas from deep shale rock that is bringing about a new age of energy abundance in the United States. The booming natural gas production is also helping to create thousands of new jobs for Americans in a very tough job market. More than 34,000 drilling-related jobs were added over the past year in Pennsylvania--that's almost a hundred new jobs every day in just one state and demonstrating that drill, drill, drill = jobs, jobs, jobs. Fuel Fix: API: Feds Moving too Slow on Offshore Drilling Plans: The oil and gas industry's leading trade group today fired a broadside at the Obama administration, accusing it of slow-walking essential offshore drilling permits and stalling domestic energy development. "Not enough is happening to ensure the oil and gas development our nation needs," said Erik Milito, the American Petroleum Institute's upstream director, in a conference call with reporters. The Interior Department's Bureau of Ocean Energy Management, Regulation and Enforcement has approved permits for 16 deep-water drilling projects that must satisfy new requirements for containing runaway wells. It also has signed off on 12 offshore exploration plans after completing new site-specific environmental assessments of those drilling blueprints. But while some exploration plans and drilling permits have been issued, Milito said, that permitting continues on an unacceptably "slow track." Milito said there is widespread confusion among oil and gas operators about how they can satisfy new rules and requirements imposed since last year's Deepwater Horizon disaster.

CBS Pittsburgh: Marcellus Shale Industry Draws New Companies to Washington Co: A recent study shows that the Marcellus Shale created 38,000 jobs last year, but a little restaurant in Washington County shows that the economic impact is a whole lot deeper than that. Two years ago, the Cherry Hill Grille was struggling to keep the lights on and employees had to cut back their hours. These days, the restaurant is doing great, catering to shale gas workers who eat out all the time. "We're keeping our people working, giving them overtime and more money for them," Coleen Pascuzzi with Cherry Hill Grille said..."Basically it saved my company from going under and my home from becoming a statistic," Michael Pascuzzi, of New Dominion Construction, said. His construction company is now thriving, preparing well sites for the shale gas industry.

Additional Resources:

New Geography: The Explosion of Oil and Natural Gas Jobs

Houston Chronicle: Watson: From Quiz Show to Oil Field

Empire Center's: The Torch: The Potential Payoff from "Fracking"

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.