Shale Expected to Create 212,000 New Jobs by 2020 - on Top of Thousands Already Being Created Now
The safe and steady development of clean-burning natural gas in Pennsylvania has the potential to create an additional 212,000 new jobs over the next 10 years on top of the thousands already being generated all across the Commonwealth. And over just the next 18 months, these activities are slated to create more than $1.8 billion in state and local tax revenues.
The Marcellus Shale is a layer of marine sedimentary rock containing largely untapped natural gas reserves. The Marcellus formation covers large parts of New York, Pennsylvania and West Virginia, also reaching into Ohio and Virginia. Geologists have been aware of the Marcellus Shale’s natural gas deposits for some time, but not until recently have new drilling techniques (see below) and rising energy prices made the Marcellus a viable source for natural gas.
Fully developed, the Marcellus Shale has the potential to be the second largest natural gas field in the world, behind only the South Pars/Asalouyeh field shared between the nations of Iran and Qatar. Converted to British Thermal Units (BTUs), the natural gas found in the Marcellus could be equivalent to the energy content of 87 billion barrels of oil, enough to meet the demand of the entire world for nearly three years. In Pennsylvania, the development of these historic resources, while still in its infant stages, is credited with the creation of thousands of jobs and billions in annual revenue for the state. Over the next two years, this growth is expected to increase rapidly -- providing the Commonwealth with a steady supply of affordable, clean-burning energy, and creating the potential for a wholesale transformation of the energy landscape both across the state and throughout the nation.
According to the Penn State Study, the continued ramp-up of responsible exploration activities throughout the Commonwealth over the next decade is expected to bring online an additional 13.5 billion cubic feet of natural gas a day, nearly seven times the amount that Pennsylvanians currently use on a daily basis. This extraordinary increase in daily natural gas output results in the creation of more than 212,000 new jobs in the Commonwealth, along with $18.85 billion in value added resources for the state’s economy. As significant, the study also finds that for every $1 invested in the state by Shale Gas producers, $1.90 of total economic output is generated as a result – a phenomenon that’s come to be known as the “Marcellus Multiplier” among the hundreds of individual industries up and down the Marcellus Shale Gas supply chain that continue to benefit from this work.
But that’s just for the state of Pennsylvania. Looking long-term at the formation’s economic and strategic potential, the study’s authors suggest that the Marcellus Shale could “be the second largest natural gas field in the world” if fully developed – providing an amount of energy for the American consumer “equivalent to the energy content of 87 billion barrels of oil.” For scale, the entire United States currently consumes roughly seven billion barrels of oil a year, with Pennsylvania consuming about 253 million barrels of that, according to the Energy Information Administration.