Economic concern has been on the mind of the public over the past few weeks following volatile market performance. Consumers, investors and businesses are searching for a solution to slowing economic indicators and poor employment figures. The solution may come from the oil and gas industry, which continues to show economic strength, if favorable policies are enacted.
Companies within the oil and gas industry are encouraging new investment and growth in the energy sector, which currently supports more than 9.2 million jobs, by developing new energy sources within the United States.
According to the American Petroleum Institute, oil and natural gas companies contributed more than $470 billion to the economy in 2010 as a result of spending, wages and dividends. The industry also has the potential to be a tremendous revenue source for federal, state and local governments as a result of paying approximately $86 million per day in taxes, fees and royalties.
As an energy powerhouse, the estimated resource potential of the United States is tremendous. Some experts say there is enough offshore oil to power more than 130 million cars for 25 years and enough natural gas for 70 million homes for 90 years.
Companies are continually improving their ability to safely access more supply, specifically within the Gulf of Mexico, by inventing new technology. As a direct result of technological advances, the Gulf of Mexico now supplies more than a quarter of U.S. oil and more than 10% of natural gas.
A new application of drilling technology that allows for the production of previously unrecoverable gas from shale has given the U.S. access to trillions of cubic feet of natural gas from the Marcellus shale formation, which runs through New York and Pennsylvania to West Virginia. Current estimates show that the Marcellus shale is able to provide a supply of natural gas to the U.S. for decades and generate $6 billion in local, state and federal tax revenue while providing 300,000 jobs by the year 2020.
All forms of energy, such as fossil fuels, nuclear and renewable, in addition to increased energy efficiency, will be important to the future. Within the next 25 years, the energy demand is expected to double around the world.
During difficult economic times, jobs are the priority. The oil and gas industry may offer a solution by creating high-paying jobs, generating billions in economic activity and delivering revenue to struggling local, state and federal governments. The U.S. could become an economic and energy powerhouse through improved access to domestic oil and gas, which will provide a source of safe and reliable energy.
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