Skip to comments.How Many Jobs Does Fracking Really Create?
Posted on 04/15/2014 1:52:51 PM PDT by thackney
Fracking creates jobs.
That's the linchpin of the oil and gas industry argument for permitting the controversial drilling practice. And it's become the industry's trump card as the debate ragesamong policymakers and scientistsover whether fracking is safe for the people and environment around it.
Getting an exact count of how many people collect paychecks as a result of fracking, however, is more art than science, and in many casesparticularly when it comes time for industry backers and politicians to tout the practicea close look at the numbers shows that some of the largest estimates are based on the most generous economic assumptions.
Take Pennsylvania, a state at the center of the fracking boom. It sits atop the Marcellus shale, the largest rock formation of its kind in the U.S., and has seen a surge in shale gas production. Natural-gas production in Pennsylvania increased by 72 percent from 2011 to 2012, the largest jump out of all the major gas-producing states.
Supporters of fracking say the production explosion has generated a comparable increase in oil and gas jobs. Pennsylvania Gov. Tom Corbett, a Republican awaiting the winner of a crowded Democratic primary in what is projected to be a hotly contested gubernatorial race, has worked to put pro-fracking policies in placeand his campaign is telling Pennsylvanians that the policies have produced results.
Corbett's campaign proclaims in a television spot that the Marcellus shale natural-gas industry is supporting over 200,000 jobs. But according to the Pennsylvania Department of Labor and Industry, just over 30,000 people were employed by industries directly tied to the fracking boom in the third quarter of last year.
So what explains the 170,000-job gap between Corbett's campaign and his state agency calculation?
The 30,000 figure is the state's estimate of jobs that are closely connected to natural-gas production in the Marcellus shalea tally that includes employment in fields like natural-gas extraction, well drilling, and pipeline transportation.
The state also provides another, broader metric of shale-related jobs. Instead of counting jobs in core Marcellus shale industries, it calculates employment in the larger natural-gas supply chain. The total for this category comes to 214,946 jobs in the third quarter of last year.
That's the figure Corbett is relying on for his ad, his campaign confirmed.
But the number was never intended to come without caveats. It covers industries whose connection to oil and gas development is tenuous at best, ranging from freight trucking to highway, street, and bridge construction. And agency officials openly admit that the figurewhen used to estimate jobs supported by shaleamounts to little more than a guess.
"We have absolutely no idea how many jobs in that second category are due to natural-gas production," said Tim McElhinny, an economic research manager at the state Department of Labor and Industry's center for workforce information and analysis.
None of this is to say that fracking hasn't created jobs. In 2002, the oil and gas industry employed roughly 6,500 people in Pennsylvania, according to the federal Bureau of Labor Statistics. By 2012the latest year for which BLS had data availablethat number had ballooned to more than 30,000, an increase of about 360 percent. During that period, the state saw a rise of only 1.3 percent in total employment.
The energy boom has injected frackingand energy jobs in generalinto the gubernatorial race, but its role in the political discussion dwarfs the sector's actual impact on the state economy: In 2012, jobs in core industries tied to natural-gas production made up less than 1 percent of Pennsylvania's total 5.5 million jobs.
"It's a drop in the bucket," said Tim Kelsey, a professor at the Pennsylvania State University and cofounder of the Center for Economic and Community Development. "Relative to statewide employment this is a very small number of jobs."
Pennsylvania's shale boom was enough to easebut not erasethe state's pain during the recession. BLS reports the state shed a net total of 74,133 jobs between 2007 and 2012, while the oil and gas industry added roughly 21,000 jobs.
And fracking's ability to spur employment may be waning.
The industry continues to add jobs, but the pace has slowed. After posting its highest employment gains in a decade between 2010 to 2011an interval when the industry added roughly 8,800 jobsthe rate of job growth declined significantly the following year. (The industry added just over 5,000 jobs from 2011 to 2012.)
Market forces suggest this dip may be more than a blip: Natural gas has fallen victim to its own success. Fracking has dramatically expanded the natural-gas supply, and as customers pay less for the product, drillers have started to turn to energy sources like oil whose prices are higher and more stable.
That's good news for states like Ohio and North Dakota that sit on fields of the liquid fossil fuelbut bad news for Pennsylvania. It's also a reminder that the energy boom won't last forever.
“Getting an exact count of how many people collect paychecks as a result of fracking, however, is more art than science”....sort if like Obamacare enrollees.
Around here, oil and gas produce primarily truck driving jobs and jobs laying pipes.
The wells are small shallow affairs that don’t require big crews.
Jobs are jobs.
Hmmm...think I'll take Fracking to boost the economy.
How many jobs does cheaper, US-sourced (versus foreign) energy create in all industries? Millions, I would imagine. There’s a reason we have plenty of jobs in Texas whereas places like Upstate New York are suffering.
Are those Jack Russells?
Well, OK, the jobs won’t last forever, so let’s just not bother. And we can’t be sure we can count those jobs accurately so maybe we should wait until somebody from Harvard can make a more accurate model. And having this source of energy at lower cost than liquid petro fuels that require refining that pollutes the air and water, well, that’s no good for anything, the cheaper energy is, the more people use it and that creates global warming and greenhouse gases. And there’s that income inequality thing, you know, the roughnecks out in the fields earn so much more than the waitresses that pour coffee at the diners and restaurants that spring up around fracking-development areas. And those hotels and motels, they use low-skilled workers who don’t earn much. And at no time in America’s history did cheap energy benefit anyone except for big oil.
These and so many others are the same old bullshit arguments that have created our moronic energy policies of the past 50 years.
And Petroleum is Petroleum!
when I first came to work in North Dakota on the Bakken every 5th vehicle was a car, the rest were all trucks.
there is still a huge amount of trucks on the road but it definitely has slowed down.
not that you cannot find a job driving trucks because you can.
as part of the requirement to draw unemployment insurance you have to make 4 job contacts a week.
if you are a truck driver and you apply with 4 companies for a truck driving job, all 4 will call you
A jack Russell and a corgi mix.
The company I work for is headquartered in Kansas...but we have done millions of dollars in work related to fracking.
Directly, we design water lines to get to the wells, and we design man camps for the workers....in North Dakota.
Indirectly, the North Dakota DOT is flush with money and we have done a lot of work for them, I have designed residential subdivisions near Williston,
and then there’s rail - facilities in TX to load sand on trains...facilities in ND to load oil on trains...and all kinds of stuff in between.
I doubt much of our work would be counted in these jobs numbers...but fracking has been huge for this little company a thousand miles away from the oil patch.
One of many companies...
My Apollo is a Chihuahua and Jack Russell mix ("Jack-Chi).
I gotta give Bowser a bath because he plucked a dead fish out of the lake and was smearing it all over himself. Happy as a clam.
There are the drilling and fracking crews the mud crews, and whomever else has to get called in. There are restaurant workers and service people who work to accommodate the crews, and grocery store, variety store, and various entertainment and recreational workers who are enriched. There are fuel and gas companies, and companies that service the oilfield service industry, and then there is the wealth that comes from petroleum distribution and use.
There are revenues to the state, weighed against other revenues generated by employment and incomes that are funded or subsidized by tax dollars.
Modern civilization and economies run on energy, and the more abundant and the cheaper the energy, the more modern civilizations and economies can grow. Many jobs that might seem unrelated to fracking and the petroleum industry will go away when the industry goes away.
Every time someone fills up at the filling station, there are taxes collected that go towards building highways and infrastructure that contribute to economic growth. Fracking is good.
Better questions,"How much revenue does it generate? and,And, BTW,
"Where does that money get spent?Compared to WHAT - Saudi Arabia?"
“It’s also a reminder that the energy boom won’t last forever.”
An American Oil Find That Holds More Than All of OPEC
Nov. 13, 2012
Drillers in Utah and Colorado are poking into a massive shale deposit trying to find a way to unlock oil reserves that are so vast they would swamp OPEC.
A recent report by the U.S. Government Accountability Office estimated that if half of the oil bound up in the rock of the Green River Formation could be recovered it would be “equal to the entire world’s proven oil reserves.”
United States Sitting On Worlds Largest Untapped Oil Reserve!
The United States is sitting on the worlds largest untapped oil reserve. A natural resource that would not only mitigate the over $400 Billion sent overseas to other countries but could create untold millions of jobs and put the country on a sound financial footing.
The untapped reserves are estimated up to 2.3 Trillion barrels, nearly three times the reserves held by the OPEC countries and sufficient to meet 300 years of demand, at todays levels for auto, truck, aircraft, heating and industrial fuel, without importing a single barrel of oil.
Here is a look at some of the largest untapped reserves:
The Bakken Fields in North and South Dakota. New drilling and oil recovery technology is making the capture of this oil feasible and some development is now underway. It is estimated that there is at least 200 Billion barrels of oil in this region. At a price of $100 per barrel the value of this find is $20 Trillion.
The Outer Continental shelf. It is estimated that around 90 billion barrels of oil sit beneath the ocean bed 50 to 100 miles off the shore of the Atlantic, Pacific and Gulf coasts. The value: $9 Trillion.
The Alaska National Wildlife Refuge. About 10 billion barrels are locked up here with a current value of $1 Trillion.
Tar Sands: Around 75 Billion barrels of oil could come from these areas which are similar to the Canadian tar sand fields and which now produce about 2 million barrels per day. The value: $7.5 Trillion
Oil Shale. This is the most massive area of potential oil production in the world with an estimated 1.5 Trillion barrel potential. The technology necessary to extract this oil is now in place and being operated on a pilot project basis. The value of this resource: $150 Trillion
There is also the real potential that further finds will be discovered as technology continues to improve.
In total the value of the potential oil reserves of the United States listed above exceeds $187 Trillion.
The current national debt is $14.2 Trillion or less than 8%.
U.S. to Be Worlds Top Oil Producer in 5 Years, Report Says
The United States will overtake Saudi Arabia as the worlds leading oil producer by about 2017 and will become a net oil exporter by 2030, the International Energy Agency said Monday.
There are several components of the sudden shift in the worlds energy supply, but the prime mover is a resurgence of oil and gas production in the United States, particularly the unlocking of new reserves of oil and gas found in shale rock. The widespread adoption of techniques like hydraulic fracturing and horizontal drilling has made those reserves much more accessible, and in the case of natural gas, resulted in a vast glut that has sent prices plunging.
The report predicted that the United States would overtake Russia as the leading producer of natural gas in 2015.
The strong statements and specific predictions by the energy agency lend new weight to trends that have become increasingly apparent in the last year.
This striking conclusion confirms a lot of recent projections, said Michael A. Levi, senior fellow for energy and environment at the Council on Foreign Relations.
If we could get at all that oil instantly, how long would it take to sell enough to make a difference?
Clare Foran is an energy reporter at National Journal. Her writing has appeared in The Atlantic Cities, Philadelphia City Paper and NPR's science and technology blog, All Tech Considered. Clare is originally from Buffalo, N.Y., and graduated from the University of Pennsylvania with a B.A. in History.
Clare Foran. Clare Foran is a staff writer at National Journal
How to Design a City for Women Urban Wonk · How to Design a City for Women.
I’m in a weird situation.
I was briefly working a few months ago as a contractor for Hewlett-Packard in a contract with “the belly of the beast” (a government Medicaid contract).
It was an exercise in thumb twiddle and I made so much noise about wanting to do something effective that they kicked me out, saying I was a bad fit (well yes I was and I think most freepers would be).
But before I went, when shooting the bull with a co-worker I came up with an idea for locating geological features in the earth that would use a method I have never heard of before. I alerted the HP patent department. They seemed interested. But now that I’m gone they act like they don’t care — not returning my emails.
I’m tempted to just yack my idea to the public but I can’t afford any ugly situations. HP would probably still own it but if they don’t want to use it, then what?
Not as long as some might think.
Once you get the process started and the equipment to do the work and workers it doesn’t take that long. Certainly not ten years as liberals would have you believe.
We have participated in some wells that have been up and running in months if not several weeks.
Once the leasing is out of the way, equipment on site and weather permitting it is done rather quickly if nothing goes wrong.
Fracking saves lives.
It removes the security interest form the Middle East.
A heck of a lot more than not fracking.
I was thinking about the market itself. How long would it take to sell that much.
Once the oil is extracted it is taken to a refinery which doesn’t take long since it is a continuous process, then to the gas tanks. Our refinery refines 90,000 - 100,000 barrels a day. It comes in and goes out in trucks, pipelines and railway.
Baton Rouge, La refinery refines over 500,000 barrels a day, 2.9 billion barrels a year.
Here is a look at some of the largest untapped reserves:
The Bakken Fields in North and South Dakota
- - - - - -
When they lead off claiming the Bakken is untapped, I realize they have no idea what they are talking about.
Production started from the Bakken over 60 years ago. Total production is nearly 2.5 billion barrels and is now up to nearly 900,000 barrels per day.
Million-barrel miles going untapped
November 27, 2013
Million-barrel miles are stranded in the oil patch, but companies and state regulators are coming up with a new drilling plan to get those barrels out of the ground.
The stranded oil is underneath section lines, historic easements that border every mile-square of land so that farmers, sportsmen and others can travel about the countryside.
These section lines are sacred public property and oil regulators have guarded them even more by creating setbacks that force oil wells to stay up to 500 feet away from them.
In the Bakken, the typical 1,280-acre (two section) spacing unit the length of a horizontal well result in two miles of oil that cant be tapped within the setback.
Industry discovered that with that configuration, there were 1 million barrels of oil that wont be produced, said Lynn Helms, director of the Department of Mineral Resources Oil and Gas Division.
If that were just an occasional outcome, it might not be worth a second look.
In reality, however, that oil has been stranded on some 8,000 spacing units to date and the lost opportunity in oil is adding up to hundreds of millions of barrels.
Oil companies are now asking oil regulators to overlap two existing spacing units in order to tap into the oil underneath both the setback and the 66-wide section line inside the new configuration.
That new configuration of 2,560 acres, or a four-section, spacing unit is becoming increasingly standard. Companies are requesting it for new wells. Theyre also asking regulators to retrofit existing units by combining two units into one bigger one.
In fact, just on last weeks hearing docket, there were 86 requests from two companies for overlapping units, Helms said.
Its become incredibly popular in the last six months, he said.
He expects that eventually all the old 1,280-acre spacing units will be overlapped at companies requests.
Montanas Vast Untapped
Entire Field Compares to One of Saudis Largest
as much as 500 billion barrels of oil may be sitting untapped beneath Montana, North Dakota, Saskatchewan, and Manitobas Bakken Formation, according to the USGS, a potential supply of oil four times as large as that held in Saudi Arabias massive Ghawar region.
There is no other basin worldwide where we may presently draw this conclusion. This certain knowledge that 413 billion barrels of in-place oil exists in the Bakken source system rocks in the Williston Basin presents the oil industry with an unparalleled exploration opportunity.’ said Geologist J.W. Price, the Denver-based geologist who conduc-ted the field assessment for the USGS.
92% of Bakken Oil Untapped
October 31, 2012
Keep in mind that, just a few short years ago, there were peak oil theories which indicated that we would run out of oil. Back in the 1970s and 1980s, some were predicting that we would run out of oil in our lifetimes.
But, like the agriculture Malthusians before them, they were wrong. Because they didnt take into account the ingenuity and inventiveness of mankind. We are constantly inventing new and better ways of doing things. Thats what fracking was for oil and gas production. A new and better way of tapping into our natural resources.
If they are spaced the length of a horizontal well, how is there unreachable space? This sounds like an article trying to claim a problem that doesn't exist.
With the prices and technology of the 70s and 80s, we would not be having the increase of production today.
So if one new refinery of like capacity could be serviced, the additional oil (at $100/barrel) would pay off a multi hundred billion dollar debt in a year or so... not a slouch. Of course it wouldn’t work quite that way... more oil would mean cheaper oil. OK, make it two years. Who wouldn’t want that? Oh I know. The globull warmists.
We don’t need a new refinery for the dollar benefit.
Just replace the imported oil with domestic oil at the existing refinery.
That would certainly help.
That is what has been happening.
Domestic oil production climbing while crude oil imports are declining.
U.S. Field Production of Crude Oil
U.S. Imports of Crude Oil