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Canton Repository: Study: Oil and gas industry supports more than 11 million nationwide

by Edd Pritchard

The oil and natural gas industry plays a key role in the national economy, supporting more than 11.3 million jobs around the country, including 375,000 in Ohio, a new study says.

Nationwide, the industry accounts for 5.6% of total U.S. employment and 5.3% of the Ohio’s employment, according to the 134-page study commissioned by the Washington, D.C.-based American Petroleum Institute. It produced $892.7 billion in labor income, including $24.7 billion in Ohio.

The study, released Tuesday, examined 2019 data.

Economic impact: An American Petroleum Institute study details the oil industry’s effect on the economy.

The industry has generated an enormous amount of economic benefits across the country, said Frank J. Macchiarola, API’s senior vice president of policy, economics and regulatory affairs. API plans to use the study, compiled by PwC, as it lobbies for policy on the national and state level.

Macchiarola said the study “serves as a reminder of our industry’s reach and its importance to our everyday lives.”

Shale revolution

The shale revolution, which 10 years ago launched horizontal drilling in southeastern Ohio’s Utica Shale formation, has produced significant employment and economic benefits in Ohio and several other states, Macchiarola said.

Ohio ranks sixth in the nation with 79,000 direct jobs supported by the industry. The top five states were: Texas (620,000), California (165,000), Oklahoma (134,000), Louisiana (105,000) and Pennsylvania (102,000).

There also are 296,000 supported indirectly in Ohio, the study says.

Local business leaders — the Stark Economic Development Board, Canton Regional Chamber of Commerce, Greater Akron Chamber and Team NEO — would like to see the jobs numbers climb.

Taking advantage of the natural gas industry and development of an ethane cracker facility in Monaca, Pennsylvania, the four groups are marketing Akron and Canton as places to locate plastics factories.

“We see that as a key industry for the area,” said Ray Hexamer, president and CEO of the Stark Economic Development Board.

Oil industry advocates

API advocates for the oil and gas industry, and conducts research related to the industry. For the wage study, PwC, a professional services company, reviewed Department of Commerce data to compile information on the industry’s direct, indirect and induced impact.

The study is conducted every two years. Because of the coronavirus pandemic and its impact on the economy and jobs last year, PwC focused on data from 2019.

The 11.3 million direct jobs extends beyond basic industry operations such as drilling and refining, Macchiarola said. Drilling is part of the mining sector, refining is part of manufacturing, and related jobs are lumped into transportation, utilities and the retail sectors.

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