June 29, 2017

API Study Highlights Economic Benefits of Natural Gas

It’s no secret that natural gas plays a vital role in our day-to-day lives. The American Petroleum Institute recently quantified that impact with a study titled “Benefits and Opportunities of Natural Gas Use, Transportation, and Production,” which takes a look at the economic effects of natural gas in each of the 50 states. According to the API press release:

The study by ICF International examined the economic benefits and opportunities from the entire natural gas value chain, including the production of natural gas, its transportation and end uses like power generation and manufacturing.

Key findings in the report include:

  • By 2040, consumers across the country will save an estimated $100 billion, or $655 per household, from the increased use of natural gas throughout our economy – from manufacturing to generating affordable electricity.
  • In 2015, the natural gas supply chain supported 3 percent of the U.S. economy, including direct, indirect and induced activities and jobs associated with natural gas.
  • In 2015, natural gas supported more than 4 million jobs across the country from production to end uses like manufacturing. That number is expected to rise to 6 million jobs by 2040.

And many of those benefits are being witnessed in Ohio, which ranks among the top states with regard to the employment and investment opportunities stemming from natural gas:

There were 188,500 jobs in Ohio related to natural gas. These jobs represented 3.6 percent of total state jobs. The top three sectors with the greatest number of jobs were chemical manufacturing, natural gas distribution, and oil and gas pipeline construction. The contribution to the Ohio economy in terms of direct, indirect, and induced value added in 2015 was $26.7 billion, of which $16.4 billion was related to the end use segment, $7.21 billon was from the infrastructure segment, and $3.13 billion was from the production segment.

Additionally, the report underscores recent strides in natural gas and oil production in Ohio:

In 2015, Ohio produced 955 Bcf of dry natural gas, 36 million barrels of gas plant liquids, 21.1 million barrels of lease condensate, and 4.8 million barrels of crude. Ohio is the location of much of the Utica horizontal shale gas and liquids play, which also extends into Pennsylvania and West Virginia. While initial Utica efforts targeting the oil and wet gas windows, drilling has shifted to mostly gas and NGLs. Operator efforts have focused on bringing down well costs to better compete economically with the Marcellus play. Drilling activity in April, 2017 was 22 rigs, primarily directed toward the Utica wet gas play.

Clearly, the development and transportation of natural gas has already had big impacts on Ohio as well as states across the country. Midstream infrastructure like the Rover pipeline will sustain this level of economic growth, and CEPI applauds API for this timely reminder of the importance of domestic production of natural gas.

Read the full study here.