Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Energy Update

WASHINGTON – The responsible development of the Marcellus Shale in Pennsylvania, a phenomenon made possible thanks to the common and continued use of hydraulic fracturing, has the potential to add an additional 212,000 new jobs to the state’s employment rolls by 2020, on top of the thousands of jobs already being created. That’s the message that researchers from Penn State University delivered today in the state’s capital of Harrisburg, on hand to share the results of an updated economic study that builds on research first released last year.

“From southern Texas to northern Michigan, the historic opportunities being made possible right now thanks to the responsible exploration of America’s shale gas resources represent a ray of light against an otherwise dreary national economic backdrop,” said Lee Fuller, executive director of Energy In Depth.

“But in few places across the country has this light been brighter and more hopeful than in Pennsylvania, a state with a long and proud history of providing the energy our nation needs to keep moving,” Fuller added. “The release of this report from Penn State today serves to reinforce that status in a modern context, and also make clear to those who oppose this critical work on political or ideological grounds that, at least on practical economic ones, that opposition could lead to fewer jobs, greater dependence, and a lot less revenue for the state.”

According to the latest numbers from the Energy Information Administration (2008), Pennsylvania contributes a little less than one percent of the total amount of natural gas produced each day in America – roughly 500 million cubic feet of natural gas a day. But all that changes over the next 10 years according to the Penn State report, with the ramp-up in Marcellus-related activities in Pennsylvania slated to bring online an additional 13.5 billion cubic feet a day, a 27-fold increase over current production numbers in the state.

Fully developed, the authors find that the broader Marcellus region, spread throughout much of Appalachia, could prove to be second largest natural gas field in the world, behind only a massive gas reserve split between Iran and Qatar. Examined another way, the 516 trillion cubic feet of Marcellus shale gas could hold the BTU equivalent of 87 billion barrels of oil – more than the entire proven reserves of nations like Russia, Libya, Nigeria and China.

The study finds that only the state of Texas is expected to produce more natural gas per year in the United States by the 2020 than Pennsylvania – assuming efforts to hamstring the innovative technologies needed to produce these resources aren’t successful on Capitol Hill.
What are we doing in Ohio? We're trying to build windmills in Cleveland...