Most Americans agree shale production good for jobs, economy - poll

15 December 2011 18:42  [Source: ICIS news]

HOUSTON (ICIS)--A majority of Americans associate the development of US shale oil and gas plays with creation of higher paying jobs and economic health, according to a DeLoitte survey released on Thursday.

The survey showed 83% of respondents agreed natural gas development could stimulate job growth. In addition, 79% of responses suggested shale development can help revitalise the economy of the state and region the shale is located.

Independent senior adviser for oil and gas at Deloitte, Peter Robertson, said natural gas’s role in job creation and helping economies will grow as production in the shale basins increases.

Mike Stice, CEO of Chesapeake Midstream Partner and senior vice president of natural gas for Chesapeake Energy, said that in 1999, the chance of success for drilling an unconventional well was 19%.

Chesapeake Energy is the second largest natural gas producer in the US.

In early October, Stice said Chesapeake Energy had 800 job openings.

The Deloitte survey respondents also connected jobs in the natural gas industry with good pay.

More than half of respondents (56%) in regions with shale development plans or operations answered that jobs producing shale gas have a “much” or “somewhat” higher pay grade than average in their communities. For respondents in mature shale basins, like Texas, that number jumps to 62%.

Deloitte conducted 1,694 online interviews in November. The respondents were from areas of established shale development, booming shale development and other respondents were from across the country.

The development of the US shale reserves has boosted ethylene production prospects.

Three companies have announced feasibility studies or plans for a new cracker in the US within the past few months, which would create jobs.

US-based Shell announced plans to build a 60,000-80,000 bbl/day cracker in the Marcellus and Utica shale region, though details are still being discussed. Shell expects to announce the location of its proposed cracker in January.

The board of directors for South African energy and chemicals company Sasol approved a feasibility study at the end of November for a possible cracker and derivatives project at Lake Charles, Louisiana.

Saudi Arabia-based SABIC announced on Thursday it would consider investing in a US cracker either with a partner or going at it alone.

By: Sheena Martin
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