Shale Development is Cutting Costs for America’s Consumers
Just a month ago, EID reported on the IHS CERA study commissioned by our colleagues at America’s Natural Gas Alliance (ANGA) on the direct savings for the American consumer because of domestic shale development. The report found that lower natural gas prices would save every American household an annual average of $926 in disposable income between 2012 and 2015 as a result of low natural gas prices. Today, we are back with more good (and early) news.
Production of domestic shale reserves has created a surplus of natural gas for Americans. The result? A 50% reduction in electricity prices for consumers. This decrease in price is providing hundreds of dollars in savings for Americans families. But the good news doesn’t stop at family budgets; lower natural gas prices are reviving America’s industrial base. Whether a residential, industrial, or commercial natural gas and electric customer, this drop in price is creating real benefits for real America.
You know about the jobs. You probably know about the “renaissance in U.S. manufacturing.” What may not be clear is the true revitalization of America’s industrial base. Companies once forced to move overseas can now stay in the U.S.; Workers who once stood outside closing steel mills and chemical plants are back in line and ready to work; and a nation that once ruled as a hub of innovation and production is back again to lay its claim—all made possible by the development of shale.
Here’s a glimpse at what they’re saying across the nation:
- Shale Development Creates Countless Benefits: To date, 76,000 jobs have been created in Pennsylvania by gas drillers and producers. Each direct job generates four to seven additional jobs (restaurants, stores, cleaners, auto services, etc.). Further, residential gas prices are dropping as a result of abundant supply; two regional gas companies recently cut 2012 consumer prices. But the best may be yet to come. Two major applications — electric power generation and chemical and plastics production — stem from abundant, inexpensive natural gas. (Pittsburgh Tribune-Review, 1/15/12)
- Electricity Declines 50% as Shale Spurs Natural Gas Glut: A shale-driven glut of natural gas has cut electricity prices for the U.S. power industry by 50 percent and reduced investment in costlier sources of energy…U.S. gas supplies have been growing since producers learned how to use hydraulic fracturing and horizontal drilling to tap deposits locked in dense shale rock formations. Gas prices have been falling since mid-2008, when a global recession sapped demand just as drilling accelerated in the gas-rich Marcellus shale in the eastern U.S., according to data compiled by Bloomberg. (Bloomberg, 1/17/12)
- Natural Gas Nears Decade Low: Record production from U.S. shale-gas fields has combined with the warm weather to keep supplies near record levels. Last week, the Energy Information Administration said 3.777 trillion cubic feet of gas was in storage, 17% higher than the five-year average. (Wall Street Journal, 1/17/12)
- Thanks to Shale , the Price of Electricity Declines 50%: A shale-driven glut of natural gas has cut electricity prices for the U.S. power industry by 50 percent and reduced investment in costlier sources of energy. … U.S. gas supplies have been growing since producers learned how to use hydraulic fracturing and horizontal drilling to tap deposits locked in dense shale rock formations. Gas prices have been falling since mid-2008, when a global recession sapped demand just as drilling accelerated in the gas-rich Marcellus shale in the eastern U.S., according to data compiled by Bloomberg. (Bloomberg, 1/17/12)
- Guess Obama Checked out EID’s Blog: Last week the White House issued its latest report on jobs and it includes a section on “America’s Natural Resource Boom.” The report avers that a few years ago there were widespread “fears of a looming natural gas shortage,” but that “the discovery of new natural gas reserves, such as the Marcellus Shale, and the development of hydraulic fracturing techniques to extract natural gas from these reserves has led to rapidly growing domestic production and relatively low domestic prices for households and downstream industrial users.” (Wall Street Journal, Editorial, 1/17/12)
- America is Poised to be the World’s New Energy Leader: The race for new-energy dominance is officially on. … A recent PricewaterhouseCoopers study found that aggressive, domestic shale-gas development could employ approximately one million more manufacturing-sector workers by 2025, thanks to increased product demand. The study also found increased production could help U.S. manufacturers reduce natural gas expenses by as much as $11.6 billion annually through the same year. What’s more, shale gas’ contribution to the U.S. gross domestic product (GDP) was more than $76.9 billion in 2010. In 2015 it will be $118.2 billion; in 2035, $231.1 billion. (FoxNews.com, Bob Beauprez, 1/17/12)
If the savings from lower prices wasn’t enough, oil and producers are making large investments in shale plays across the nation, driving profits and generating economic activity across the assembly line.
- Ohio Shale Development Is ‘Godsend’: By 2015, industry officials believe oil and natural gas producers will spend $34 billion for exploration and development across Ohio. “I think this is going to be a godsend for this part of the state,” said Terry Fleming, executive director of the Ohio Petroleum Council, during the Tuesday oil and gas forum. (Wheeling News Register, 1/18/12)
- Eagle Ford Shale new key to SA regional prosperity: The exciting potential and long term economic benefits from drilling in the Eagle Ford in South Texas will undoubtedly be revised upward again as more companies decide to put down roots in San Antonio, a city that may once again be considered an oil town. (San Antonio Express-News, Op-Ed, 1/17/12)
- Natural gas providing an opportunity for Louisiana: The natural gas obtained through shale “provides the opportunity for what will be a renaissance in chemical manufacturing in the United States, and Louisiana is uniquely positioned to capitalize on that,” ACC President and CEO Cal Dooley has said. “The $5.4 billion investment in expanded ethylene production capacity in Louisiana will generate a total of $10.9 billion in additional chemical industry output, bringing the state’s industry revenues to $56.9 billion and maintaining it as the country’s second-largest chemical-producing state.” (Pelican Post, Op-Ed, 1/16/12)
And the benefits are being felt across the globe:
- Poorest Nations Host Biggest Gas Finds in Sign of Deals: One of the world’s poorest regions is also home to the biggest natural-gas discoveries in a decade, luring investors from steel billionaire Lakshmi Mittal to Royal Dutch Shell Plc. Eni SpA and Anadarko Petroleum Corp. found about $800 billion of gas under the Indian Ocean off Mozambique, 36 times more valuable than the nation’s economy, ranked 213 of 227 countries for per capita income. (Bloomberg, 1/16/12)
- Australian Shale Catches India’s Attention: “Shale gas is going to be the future of unconventional oil exploration and development,” Finance Director T.K. Ananth Kumar told Deal Journal Australia’s colleague Rakesh Sharma. “We prefer to go in for a joint venture partnership rather than fully owning the asset. This is our strategy for acquisition of shale gas.” Australian shale gas is starting to attract attention from some of the world’s biggest energy companies seeking to replicate the success of the U.S. unconventional gas boom down under. (Wall Street Journal, 1/16/12)
The facts are out. America’s manufacturing and industrial base has been resurrected and invigorated. The many benefits of shale development are felt within our homes, in our communities, and in our industries. Call it a gift, good fortune, or the result of American innovation and fortitude, the many perks of production are impossible to avoid.
UPDATE (1/19/12): Talk about a boost to our industrial base–Shale development is actually bringing companies from overseas back to the U.S. Bloomberg’s Jack Kaskey reports.