New Study: Marcellus Shale Expected to Create 212,000 New Jobs by 2020 – on Top of Thousands Already Being Created Now

Updated report from Penn State quantifies enormous economic, energy potential of exploration of clean-burning natural gas in Commonwealth

HARRISBURG, Pa. – The safe and steady development of clean-burning natural gas in Pennsylvania’s portion of the Marcellus Shale has the potential to create an additional 212,000 new jobs over the next 10 years on top of the thousands already being generated all across the Commonwealth. And over just the next 18 months, these activities are slated to create more than $1.8 billion in state and local tax revenues. These are among the key findings released today by professors from Penn State University in an update to their initial jobs and economic impact study issued last July.

“At a time when more than half-a-million people in Pennsylvania are currently out of work, the release of this updated report from Penn State today confirms the critical role that responsible energy development in the Commonwealth can play in substantially, perhaps even permanently, reversing that trend,” said Kathryn Klaber, president and executive director of the Marcellus Shale Coalition (MSC). “Last year alone, Marcellus producers paid more than $1.7 billion to landowners across the state, and spent more than $4.5 billion total to make these resources available. By the end of this year, that number is expected to double, and millions of Pennsylvanians will find themselves the direct beneficiaries of that growth.”

According to the Penn State study, the continued ramp-up of responsible exploration activities throughout the Commonwealth over the next decade is expected to bring online an additional 13.5 billion cubic feet of natural gas a day, nearly seven times the amount that Pennsylvanians currently use on a daily basis. This extraordinary increase in daily natural gas output results in the creation of more than 211,000 new jobs in the Commonwealth, along with $18.85 billion in value added resources for the state’s economy. As significant, the study also finds that for every $1 invested in the state by Marcellus Shale producers, $1.90 of total economic output is generated as a result – a phenomenon that’s come to be known as the “Marcellus Multiplier” among the hundreds of individual industries up and down the Marcellus supply chain that continue to benefit from this work.

But that’s just for the state of Pennsylvania. Looking long-term at the formation’s economic and strategic potential, the study’s authors suggest that the Marcellus Shale could “be the second largest natural gas field in the world” if fully developed – providing an amount of energy for the American consumer “equivalent to the energy content of 87 billion barrels of oil.” For scale, the entire United States currently consumes roughly seven billion barrels of oil a year, with Pennsylvania consuming about 253 million barrels of that, according to the Energy Information Administration.

“In the near term, we’re talking about the creation of tens of thousands of family-supporting jobs, and billions in wages, revenues and royalties – on top of all the economic benefits being delivered to the state right now,” added Klaber. “Further out, this work has the potential to deliver a sustainable energy resource to millions of consumers, and long-term revenue streams to state and local governments — all while contributing materially to the achievement of key national imperatives related to energy, the economy, our security and our environment.”

Specific to the Commonwealth, the updated study finds that efforts related to finding, producing and delivering Marcellus resources to residents of the Commonwealth will create more than 111,000 new jobs by 2011, a function of an increase in the number of wells developed from the roughly 1,400 in operation today to 2,200 expected over the next 18 months. All told, by 2011, this work is expected to deliver nearly $1 billion in annual tax revenue to state and local governments, and contribute to a value-added total slated to exceed $10 billion.

Among the other worthwhile projections released today in the updated Penn State report:

Value Added State & Local Taxes Jobs Projected Natural Gas Output
2011 $10.1 billion $987 million 111,413 2.5 billion cubic feet/day
2015 $14.4 billion $1.4 billion 160,205 7.6 billion cubic feet/day
2020 $18.8 billion $1.87 billion 211,909 13.5 billion cubic feet/day

To access the study online, click here. For more information on the Marcellus Shale Coalition, visit the new MSC website launched just this week.