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Unconventional Oil And Gas Production Supports More Than 1.7 Million U.S. Jobs Today; Will Support 3 Million By The End Of The Decade, IHS Study Finds

The revolution in unconventional oil and gas production is fundamentally changing the United States energy outlook, generating significant job creation, economic growth and government revenues, according to a new IHS study.

The entire upstream unconventional oil and gas sector will support more than 1.7 million jobs in 2012 at average wage levels dramatically higher than the general economy. The number of jobs is expected to increase to 2.5 million over the next three years. The number of jobs supported will continue to rise to nearly 3.5 million in 2035, according to the study.

The new study, America’s New Energy Future: The Unconventional Oil and Gas Revolution and the Economy builds on previous IHS research on the economic impacts of unconventional gas to provide the most complete assessment to date of the economic contributions—in terms of jobs, economic value and government revenue—for both unconventional oil and unconventional gas in the United States.

“The growth of unconventional oil and gas production is creating a new energy reality for the United States,” said Daniel Yergin, IHS vice chairman and author of The Quest. “That growth has not only contributed to U.S. energy security but is a significant source of new jobs and economic activity at a time when the economy is a top priority.

“The United States currently has the highest rate of growth in crude oil production capacity in the world and is virtually self-sufficient in natural gas, except for some gas from Canada. This is a stark contrast from when, prior to the unconventional revolution, it was expected that the U.S. would soon become heavily dependent on gas imports,” Yergin added.

Future growth in unconventional oil and gas production will drive continued economic expansion in both the near- and long-term, the study says. Annual unconventional tight oil production—projected at 2 mbd for 2012—is expected to increase by nearly 70 percent by 2015 to more than 3.5 million barrels of oil per day (mbd) and rise to 4.4 mbd in 2020. Unconventional gas production—shale, plus “tight gas”—is expected to increase 22 percent to nearly 42 billion cubic feet per day (Bcf/d) in 2015 (65 percent of total U.S. gas production) and reach more than 76 Bcf/d in 2035 (75 percent of total U.S. gas production).

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