The Roundup -

By Tie Shank 

Natural Gas & Oil = Wealth For The Economy


While many states are turtle crawling, states that are fortunate enough to have a shale play such as North Dakota, South Dakota and Montana are hotfooting it.

North Dakota, South Dakota and Montana are three states seeing the accelerated pace as their states’ economies are among the best in the nation. At the end of 2012, the unemployment rate in the Bakken was an utter 1.8%. The unemployment rate across the rest of North Dakota was just 3.2%, while South Dakota averaged 3.8% and Montana averaged approximately 5%. States further east such as Rhode Island and Illinois came in above 9%.

Referring to the shale plays, Interior Secretary Sally Jewell stated “These world-class formations contain even more energy resource potential than previously understood, which is important information as we continue to reduce our nation’s dependence on foreign sources of oil.”

The U.S. energy demand is expected to grow at least 12% between now and the year 2040. This is all good news for the Bakken. North Dakota is expected to double their $1 billion in tax revenues from natural gas and oil in the next year.

Republican Senator John Hoeven from North Dakota believes the numbers from the most recent U.S. Geological Survey will bring more developers to the area. He told, “This will mean a lot of jobs. Financially we are already very strong, we have no debt, but this will mean a lot more stores, restaurants, movie theaters – we’ll have to build and we’ll have to hire workers.”

According to a state study, the western half of North Dakota is expected to see its population climb another 50% over the next twenty years.

Numbers to look at:

• Over 9.8 million people are employed either directly or indirectly by the U.S. natural gas and oil industry.

• $300 billion is paid annually to workers in jobs supported by the natural gas and oil industry.

• $2 trillion has been invested by the natural gas and oil industry in U.S. capital projects since 2000 to advance all forms of energy, including energy alternatives.

• The Bakken area is responsible for 53% of the total growth of North Dakota business establishments.


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