Shale development continues to be a powerful source of job creation of our nation’s economy. And while the industry is responsible for meaningful employment gains, despite the broader economy’s slow recovery from the Great Recession, a sizable gap between senior oil and natural gas professionals and millennials remains — a gap that our region’s shale industry is proactively addressing through identifying, educating and hiring a new wave of talented energy leaders.
In a Sunday front-page story, the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review looks at what several of the many MSC members are doing to hire locally and support promising energy careers for young professionals:
- Chevron, Pennsylvania’s 10th-biggest gas producer, announced last month that it would spend $20 million on programs to teach school children and train college students in Appalachia to eventually fill the industry’s high-demand jobs.
- “We’re better prepared to handle it than in the past,” said [John] Applegath, a 38-year veteran of the industry who leads Range’s southern Marcellus division. “We’re embracing it. We’re doing a lot to get these younger folks up to speed.” At its Cecil office, Range Resources, the state’s most prolific shale driller, holds meetings geared toward addressing generational differences between workers. More than half of the company’s 1,000 employees are younger than 45.
- “It was boots-on-the-ground right away. You’re right in the business fast,” said Carrie Schimizzi, 27, of Latrobe, a land agent for Range Resources, who joined the company once she graduated from the University of Pittsburgh with a law degree and discovered the “dismal” job market for lawyers. … “I was always told that I would have to leave Pittsburgh to find a really good job, but now I am here at Range and I could not ask for a more amazing job coming right out of college,” said operations engineer Wade Lipscomb, 22, a Stanton Heights native who interned with Range Resources while attending Penn State. Range Resources brings in 12 interns a year and has hired nearly three-quarters of them.
- Amanda Lyle, 24, of Shaler is five years younger than Dickson, her boss at FTS, but she is training new engineers after less than two years on the job. … “We want them to know they have the backing of the full resources of the company,” FTS spokeswoman Pam Percival said.
CABOT OIL & GAS
- Cabot Oil & Gas Corp., Pennsylvania’s second-largest shale gas producer, this year gave $2.5 million to Lackawanna College to endow the petroleum and natural gas program that the Susquehanna County school established five years ago. … The endowment “ensures there’s a quality college nearby to supply those workers we will need,” said Cabot spokesman George Stark.
Not only is shale creating good-paying local jobs for tens of thousands of workers across Pennsylvania, along with much-needed tax and fee revenues, cleaner air and more affordable energy for consumers, families and manufacturers, but this game-changing revolution is also dramatically enhancing our nation’s security.
In fact, this week, the U.S. Chamber of Commerce released its annual Index of U.S. Energy Security Risk, which “continues to show positive trends for America’s energy security” all while carbon dioxide emissions fell for the second consecutive year to their “lowest levels since 1994.” And as top McKinsey & Company energy experts underscore in a recent Forbes column, “it’s hard to overstate [the oil & gas industry’s] impact on the U.S. economy.”
This from the Chamber’s press release:
As the index shows, America’s energy security risk dropped to 87.4 in 2013—the first time the score has been below 90 since 2004, and a 5 percent reduction in risk from 2012.
“Much of America’s improved energy security over the past year can be attributed to increased oil and gas development, particularly from unconventional sources,” said Karen Harbert, president and CEO of the Energy Institute. “Given continued geopolitical uncertainty, rising U.S. oil and gas output couldn’t come at a better time, and has helped insulate our nation from instability.
Of the 37 metrics studied in the report, 14 showed a decreased risk of 1 percent or more, 10 showed an increased risk of 1 percent or more, and 11 stayed the same as 2013 numbers. In particular, rapidly expanding oil and natural gas output drove large improvements in metrics related to energy expenditures, price volatility, and imports.
Key findings from the full report:
- Increased Shale Development Directly Benefits U.S. Energy Security: In the 2011 and 2012 editions of the U.S. Index, there were clear indications that the use of hydraulic fracturing, horizontal drilling, and multidimensional geologic imaging was inciting a revolution in unconventional natural gas production from shale formations that was beginning to have measurable and beneficial impacts on U.S. energy security.
- Improved Energy Security: Increased greater domestic oil and natural gas production in 2012, all of which occurred on state and private lands, was the biggest single factor contributing to the improved U.S. energy security picture in 2012.
- Lower Energy Security Risks: The impacts of the unconventional oil and natural gas boom lowered U.S. energy security risks in 2012 by increasing supply security, reducing net imports, and putting downward pressure on energy costs and expenditures.
- Carbon Dioxide Emissions Decline: Risks related to energy-related carbon dioxide emissions declined for the second consecutive year, falling to their lowest level since 1994. Slow but steady trends towards greater energy efficiency in all sectors, fuel switching from coal to cheap natural gas in the power sector, and still sluggish economic growth all contributed to the decline in total emissions.
- Natural Gas Output is Exceeding Forecasts: The growth in U.S. oil and gas production is proceeding much faster than expected just a few years ago. … With development moving ahead so rapidly, it is probable that…output in future EIA forecasts will exceed even EIA’s AEO 2013 forecast, both in quantity and duration, which would push future risks scores even lower.
- Geopolitical Security Risks Decline: Geopolitical energy security risks in 2012 declined from 2011’s record high score of 102.0 to a score of 97.4. … Lower crude oil and natural gas import and import expenditure risks stemming from growing unconventional domestic oil and natural gas production were the main factors contributing to lower geopolitical risks in 2012.
- Environmental Energy Security Risks Fall Again: Environmental energy security risks fell for the second consecutive year to 84.7, 3.2 points below its 2011 score and 14.6 points below its 30-year average. This is the lowest score for this sub-index in the entire record going back to 1970. The single biggest factor accounting for the improvement in this sub-index was the 26.5 point drop in the metric measuring energy-related carbon dioxide emissions, which hit its lowest level since 1994.