Shale gas industry to have huge impact on US economy: Study

According to a study released yesterday by international consulting firm, IHS Global Insight, the natural "shale gale" that started in the Barnett Shale is having "profound economic impacts" on the US economy. It was helping create jobs, reduce consumer costs for natural gas and electricity and escalate federal, state and local tax revenues, the study added.

Shale gas which now accounts for 34 per cent of US natural gas production is expected to account for 43 per cent by 2015 and 60 per cent by 2035, the firm says.

According to the study, shale gas development contributed $76.9 billion to the US economic output in 2010, and would add $118.2 billion in 2015 and $231.1 billion in 2035.

In 2010, the shale gas industry supported 600,000 jobs and the number were likely to grow to nearly 870,000 by 2015 rising to 1.6 million-plus by 2035.
 
Savings from lower natural gas prices, as well as associated lower prices for other consumer purchases, would add an average $926 in disposable income per household annually from 2012 to 2015 and over $2,000 annually by 2035.

Jobs in the shale gas industry and related fields paid higher wages -- an average $23.16 per hour -- than those in manufacturing, transportation and education.

Though the study was commissioned by industry group America's Natural Gas Alliance, according to IHS it made made an "independent assessment" and was "exclusively responsible" for all the study's analysis and conclusions.