Ohio will bound upward, ranking third in the continental U.S. in unconventional oil and gas employment numbers by the year 2025, according to a pro-industry study released Wednesday.
The study being done by IHS and co-sponsored by the U.S. Chamber's Institute for 21st Century Energy indicates that by 2025 Ohio will rank behind only Texas and Pennsylvania in the lower 48 states in direct and indirect unconventional gas and oil production-related jobs. This year Ohio ranked 10th in the nation with 38,830 total unconventional oil and natural gas-related jobs.
The report indicates the shale energy production is projected to support 143,000 Ohio jobs by 2020, ranking it fifth in the nation, then hit 187,829 jobs in 2025, ranking it third. By 2030, projections show Ohio jobs related to the industry will reach 235,233.
This is the second part of a three-part report, also sponsored by the American Petroleum Institute, American Chemistry Council, America's Natural Gas Alliance and Natural Gas Supply.
"Shale energy is a game-changer for America and for Ohio," said Karen Harbert, president and CEO of the Energy Institute. "The latest installment of this study allows us to quantify just how significant the impact on Ohio's economy will be. It provides all the more reason to strongly support responsible shale energy development."
The Utica Shale field under much of northeastern Ohio is considered to be one of the richest natural gas reserves in the world.
The study goes on to indicate that shale energy development will generate $911 million in state and local government revenue in 2012 alone and could be generating $4.5 billion a year by 2020.
"Ohio is already seeing a significant boost to our economy from shale energy, and this new study shows that much more is to come," said Linda Woggon, executive vice president of the Ohio Chamber of Commerce and executive director of the Ohio Shale Coalition. "The billions of dollars in new state and local government revenue will help support schools, infrastructure and other needs for our state, while the hundreds of thousands of new jobs will provide an economic boost for our families."
Nationally, the IHS study shows that by 2015, shale and unconventional energy will be responsible for 2.5 million jobs; by 2020, 3 million, and by 2035, 3.5 million. In 2012, shale energy is responsible for $62 billion in government revenue. Between now and 2035, shale energy development is expected to contribute more than $2.5 trillion in total government revenue-about half of which goes to the federal government. Overall, between now and 2035, the energy industry will invest more than $5.1 trillion in energy development in the United States.
The study released Wednesday is the second in a three-part series designed to shed light on the economic impact of shale. The first two parts focused exclusively on the impact of operations surrounding the extraction of oil and gas, referred to as "upstream" operations. The final installment to come in early 2013 will examine the entire economic impact of shale, including components like manufacturing and chemicals, known as "downstream" operations.
While the study was sponsored by pro-industry groups, opponents continue to express environmental concerns largely with the possibility of groundwater contamination from hydraulic fracturing, the process that uses water and chemicals to break gas deposits free from the rock. They also worry about air pollution and damage to roads and streams, among other things.
Ted Auch, program coordinator for FracTracker Alliance, a group that focuses on educating the public about hydraulic fracturing and arming residents with facts.
Auch, who represents Ohio and works out of an office in the Wean Building in downtown Warren, said while he has concerns with the transparency of the industry and the speed at which it is moving, he does not describe himself as "anti-fracking."
"We are not saying don't frack. We are saying be informed," Auch said. "Our most important thing is to educate the landowner. The industry is moving fast. You need to take care of these things on the front end, because after that, it's too late."