New Study Shows Economic Boom from Shale Gas in U.S.

A new study just released shows that natural gas drilling and production will add 900,000 jobs and $1,000 to annual household budgets across the country, on average, by 2015. And shale gas production will go from adding $76 billion to U.S. gross domestic product (GDP) now, to $118 billion by 2015.

The boom in shale gas production nationwide – exemplified by modern-day drilling boom towns that have sprung up in Pennsylvania, North Texas and western states – is a bright spot in the U.S. economy, said the study’s lead author, John Larson, vice president of IHS Global Insight, an energy research firm based in suburban Denver.

"Shale is really proving to be a very big job creator. It really stands in sharp contrast to many sectors of the economy," Larson said. "During a significant economic downturn – the most significant since World War II – that’s pretty remarkable."

Among the study’s other findings:

Shale gas production contributed $76 billion to the U.S. gross domestic product in 2010, but IHS predicts that will jump to $118 billion by 2015 and $231 billion in 2035.

Tax revenue from shale gas production, which accounted for $18.6 billion to federal, state and local governments last year, is projected to hit $57 billion annually by 2035 – or $933 billion total over the next 25 years.

Benefits also include cheaper power bills for consumers. Savings from lower gas prices are projected to add an annual average of $926 per year in disposable income to U.S. households between 2012 and 2015.*

*Houston Chronicle (Dec 5, 2011) – Natural gas boom projected to fuel job growth