Report: Significant Economic Benefits Seen from Atlantic Oil, Gas Devt

Atlantic OCS activity is expected to create approximately 30,000 jobs in the manufacturing sector by 2035, of which over 20,000 will be in the Atlantic coast states. Manufacturing includes businesses that fabricate oil and gas equipment, platforms and other goods needed for field development. Thirty-two thousand additional jobs will be created in the professional, scientific and technical service sector by 2035. QUEST also estimates that around 19,000 jobs in the construction sector, which includes offshore installation deployment, will result from Atlantic OCS activity.

While the Carolinas, Virginia, Massachusetts, New York and Maine are expected to see larger benefits, the effects of offshore oil and gas activity are expected to be felt all along the Atlantic coast.

Study Results Underscore Importance of Continued Oil, Gas Development

The study’s promising results – which underscore the importance of continued oil and gas development and a true all of the above policy should give policymakers in the Obama administration and U.S. Congress reason to lift the embargo on oil and gas exploration on the Atlantic OCS.  For the past five years, the Obama administration has debated whether to allow seismic surveying in the Atlantic.

U.S. offshore oil and production currently is limited to the central, western and a small portion of the eastern Gulf of Mexico, with limited legacy production offshore Alaska and California. Total offshore oil and gas production as of June 2013 was 1.87 million boepd, or 9 percent of U.S. production.

Oil and gas development off the Atlantic coast has been restricted since the 1980s; 51 exploratory wells were drilled in shallow water in the 1970s and 1980s. A 2011 lease sale for acreage offshore Virginia was cancelled, and no lease sales on the Atlantic OCS are scheduled.

“The industry has made so much progress in oil and gas production while only having access to less than 15 percent of the OCS,” said NOIA President Randall Luthi during a conference call with reporters Thursday. “The U.S. is now in a position where we are not only able to meet our own needs, but become an oil and gas exporter to an energy-hungry world.”

“Tapping more offshore energy is one of the elusive silver bullets the country is looking for to address unemployment and higher state and federal revenues without higher taxes,” Luthi noted.


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