Shale gas to make huge contribution to US economy

According to a new IHS Global Insight study, the shale gas revolution, which has swept across America and transformed the energy landscape, will also have a huge economic impact supporting more jobs, stimulating growth and providing huge amounts of revenue.

 The study, called ‘The Economic and Employment Contributions of Shale Gas in the United States’, is the most definitive to date and presents the economic contributions of shale gas to the Us economy through to 2035.

“The rapid growth in shale gas production - currently 34% of total U.S. production - is one of the most significant energy developments in recent decades and is having a significant impact on the nation's economy in terms of stimulating job creation and economic growth,” said IHS Vice President John Larson, the lead author of the study.

Key findings of the report were:

  • Shale gas had grown to 27% of U.S. natural gas production by 2010; it is currently 34% and will reach 43% in 2015 and more than double by 2035 to 60%.
  • In 2010, the shale gas industry supported more than 600,000 jobs; by 2015 the total will likely grow to nearly 870,000 and to more than 1.6 million by 2035.
  • Nearly US$ 1.9 trillion in cumulative capital investments are expected to be made between 2010 and 2035.
  • Annual capital expenditures, especially strong in the early years, will grow to $48.1 billion in 2015.
  • The shale gas contribution to the U.S. gross domestic product (GDP) was more than US$ 76.9 billion in 2010; in 2015 it will be US$ 118.2 billion and will triple to US$ 231.1 billion in 2035.
  • Over the next 25 years, the shale gas industry will generate more than US$ 933 billion in tax revenues for local, state and the federal governments.
  • Savings from lower gas prices, as well as the associated lower prices for other consumer purchases, equate to an annual average addition of US$ 926 in disposable income per household between 2012 and 2015, and increase to more than US$ 2000 per household in 2035 on an annual basis.

As recently as 2007, the US was expecting to become a natural gas importer and built a number of LNG receiving terminals. The recent boom in shale has completely reversed this trend; indeed the Sabine Pass LNG terminal owned by Cheniere Energy is now being converted to become a LNG export terminal. At current rates it is now estimated that the US has enough gas to last 100 years. However it is unknown how much gas the US will export, as there is still a lot of concern about energy security and the need to hang on to domestic supplies, rather than flogging them abroad.

Published on 07/12/2011

 
 

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