WASHINGTON, D.C. – Cheaper energy and lower manufacturing costs aren’t the only economic benefits associated with the surge in hydraulic fracturing throughout the country. The impact of shale energy development is being felt up and down the supply chain, creating jobs and spurring economic activity in diverse sectors of the economy, including capital equipment and component manufacturing and construction, Energy Equipment & Infrastructure Alliance (EEIA) President & CEO Toby Mack told a joint meeting of the Congressional Natural Gas and House Manufacturing Caucuses today.
Mack briefed lawmakers on the widespread – and sometimes overlooked – collateral economic activity associated with shale. “Shale energy is sparking a widespread boom in manufacturing, distribution and support of the capital equipment used in production, transportation and processing of natural gas, crude oil and other liquids, as well as in the construction of facilities and support infrastructure required by shale energy operations,” he said.
The construction industry has been particularly impacted. Preparing drilling sites, access roads, pipelines, refineries and other processing facilities creates jobs and requires enormous amounts of construction activity and equipment. That demand creates sales, rental, and product support opportunities for local distributors and creates distribution, manufacturing and contractor jobs, Mack said.
He cited a recent informal survey by Associated Equipment Distributors (an EEIA member trade association) of equipment companies operating in Texas, Colorado, Utah, Wyoming, Pennsylvania and Ohio. The 25 construction equipment dealers responding (representing a just a fraction of the industry) reported an aggregate of $1.7 billion in shale-related revenues in 2012, an average of $68 million per company in that year alone.
“It’s a great story: The shale energy sector is flourishing and many sectors of the economy are benefiting,” Mack said. But he warned that misguided government action could undermine the viability of this sector. “Policymakers must protect public health, safety, and the environment, while allowing the shale energy sector to continue to grow and prosper.”
by Redacción Gas Shale México