New Study: Immense Economic Benefits of the Barnett Shale Set to Increase

The immense economic benefits of shale development have been highlighted yet again with the recent release of an economic study by The Perryman Group (TPG) titled, “The Economic and Fiscal Contribution of the Barnett Shale: Impact of Oil and Gas Exploration and Production on Business Activity and Tax Receipts in the Region and State.”

The report finds that development in the Barnett Shale contributes $11.8 billion in gross domestic product every year as well as more than 107,650 permanent jobs.  It also provides $480.6 million in local government revenues and $644.7 million in state revenues.

Even better news: this economic growth shows few signs of waning.  As TPG president Ray Perryman put it, “Exploration activity for both natural gas and oil is likely to increase in the future as price and global market conditions change.”

The study identifies the economic and fiscal benefits of the Barnett Shale-related activity until 2023. It examines the cumulative economic benefits (including multiplier effects) to the region over the next ten years with an estimated $141.5 billion in gross product and 1,268,161 person-years of employment in the region. Tax benefits within the region include $5.7 billion for local governments.  Additionally, “For Texas, the contribution of the Barnett Shale is estimated to be $153.4 billion in gross product and 1,354,727 person-years of employment. The statewide activity should provide tax receipts of $6.1 billion to the local governments and almost $8.0 billion to the State.”

The region has been a national energy generator and the study confirms the numbers stating, “More than 15 trillion cubic feet of natural gas have been produced from the Shale since 2001, with daily average production so far in 2014 exceeding 4.75 billion cubic feet per day. Oil production in the first few months of 2014 averaged almost 4,800 barrels per day. In 2011, the daily oil production averaged over 19,800 barrels.”

Contrast that incredible economic growth with what could happen in the City of Denton, which has been ground zero for activists bent on shutting down new exploration and undoing the past decade of job growth. According to another study released earlier this summer by The Perryman Group, a ban on drilling in Denton could cost the city $251.4 million in economic activity and 2,000 jobs over the next 10 years; slash tax revenues by $5.1 million to the city; and reduce revenues to the Denton Independent School District by $4.6 million.  In other words, it’s a choice between economic growth or economic decline.

The Barnett Shale’s record of production is a remarkable precursor for the decade ahead, and it’s clear that communities that embrace development will reap the economic benefits for years to come.

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