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State of American Energy 2015

Posted By Lyndsey Kleven, Communications Coordinator, Tuesday, January 20, 2015

The United States Congress has assembled for the 114th session to kick off 2015. In a unique occurrence at the federal level, as well as in Ohio, republicans have now assumed the majority party in the House and Senate. Key issues expected to arise federally in 2015 are lifting the ban on U.S. crude oil exports, protecting IDCs and percentage depletion, and Endangered Species Act issues.

Last week the American Petroleum Institute (API) reported on The State of American Energy 2015 in its annual report. The report covers all sectors of energy ranging from solar energy, natural gas, hydropower, to petroleum, using government data to highlight the growth in each area. Each segment is contributing to the U.S. energy portfolio and the future has a strong outlook.

Jack Gerard, API’s CEO, says, “Today the United States is the world’s top producer of natural gas, the world’s leading refiner of petroleum products, and very soon could be the leading producer of oil. These developments are strengthening America’s energy and economic security and benefitting tens of millions of individuals.”

This is part of the larger story, coupled with rising use of renewable energy and increased oil and natural gas production; the U.S. is emerging as a global energy giant. Public policy choices that enable domestic energy opportunities will allow the U.S. to thrive, as economic growth and job creation are the backbone of energy creation.

The API report inherently starts by highlighting America’s petroleum renaissance, saying that “oil represents the lifeblood of the U.S. economy and provides more than one-third of our current energy needs—which is not expected to change significantly over the next quarter century.”

Hydraulic fracturing has brought us the technology innovations to surpass Russia in becoming the world’s largest natural gas producer (with projections of becoming a net exporter). According to the report, the natural gas industry adds about $385 billion to the national economy each year while supporting nearly 3 million jobs. In addition, the average U.S. household had an additional $1,200 in disposable incoming in 2012 from lower energy costs thanks to hydraulic fracturing—a total expected to grow to $3,500 in 2025.

Issues on the table dealing with federal policy are expediting the approval of liquefied natural gas (LNG) facilities and exports. To maximize the domestic supply of natural gas, the U.S. needs to act quickly and join the global race in building infrastructure and allowing for exports. API projects with the U.S. becoming an exporter, a reduction in the nation’s trade deficit, increased government revenue, a growing the economy with millions of jobs. Gerard concludes, “With our abundant array of resources, technological expertise and skilled workforce, the United States stands on the threshold of energy self-sufficiency at a level unthinkable just a few years ago. With America’s diverse and plentiful range of resources, our energy renaissance is only beginning.”  

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OOGA Converts to New Website and Membership Software

Posted By Deneen Welker, Operations Managing Director, Director of Finance, Monday, January 12, 2015

The Ohio Oil and Gas Association is pleased to announce its conversion to a new membership platform and website powered by YourMembership.com.  The new software integrates membership data seamlessly within the website allowing ease of use for members and the ability for increased communications. The new system is secure as members must sign-in for access.  In addition, all financial transactions comply with Industry Data Security Standards (PCI Compliance) and allows for payments to be received using Visa, MasterCard, American Express, Discover, and ACH/E-check processing.

Each individual member and corporate member account contact has been sent an announcement email, including a username and password, requesting that current membership information be reviewed and updated (if necessary).  The information can be viewed and edited through the “Manage Profile” page under “Edit Bio” tab in the “Information & Settings” section on the site. If this email has not been received, please double check to ensure that this message has not been filtered as spam, and if needed, contact the Association’s office.

In addition to allowing members to manage membership contact information and search for other members online, membership dues can be renewed online through the software.   Additional software features will roll out during the next several months and will be communicated to our members through email blasts and additional Bulletin articles.  

We look forward to your comments, suggestions and patience as we continue to strive to improve your member experience with the Ohio Oil and Gas Association.

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What’s Going Down in Eastern Ohio, Unemployment

Posted By Lyndsey Kleven, Communications Coordinator, Tuesday, January 6, 2015
Updated: Wednesday, January 7, 2015

Extracting oil and gas safely and responsibly has left Eastern Ohio with the great fortune of employment opportunities. This is largely in thanks to the huge deposits of shale rock formation that sit beneath much of the eastern half of the state. The shale gas industry is creating new jobs and helping to restore economic prosperity to much of Eastern Ohio. This has not always been the case, look back a few years and many of these areas were struggling.

Spanning some of the highest unemployment rates in 2011, Ohio saw an annual average unemployment rate of 9.2 percent (not seasonally adjusted)—ranking it in the lower third of highest unemployment rates in the United States. Many Eastern Ohio areas saw unemployment rates in double digits, well above the state average. The shale revolution started to take off around this time and the level of unemployment in Ohio’s struggling Eastern region started to shrink, significantly.

Look ahead to November 2014, and Ohio’s unemployment rate fell below 5 percent. The state, as a whole, is on an economic upswing, seeing the lowest rates in 13 years. It is expected to see improvement in all areas, but some of the areas with the highest unemployment have managed to bounce back, exceedingly well. With the shale revolution and oil and gas jobs becoming available, the Eastern Ohio counties hit hardest by unemployment have surpassed the Ohio average unemployment rate (data from Ohio Department of Jobs and Family Services, Labor Market Information).

 

Eastern Ohio unemployment percentage rates, June 2011 compared to November 2014:

June 2011 November 2014
Carroll County 10.4 4.5
Columbiana County 10.7 4.8
Stark County 10.0 4.5
Tuscarawas County 9.1 4.0
Guernsey County 10.4 5.1
Noble County 12.7 5.7
Morgan County 12.7 6.7
Washington County  8.3  3.9

The US Department of Labor provides statistics of unemployment from June 2011 to November 2014 by metropolitan area; also reflecting Ohio areas with oil and gas activity seeing significant decreases in unemployment. For example, Canton-Massillon was at a 10 percent unemployment rate (above the state average 9.2 percent) and dropped by 5.5 percent in 2014. Another region impacted by shale development, Youngstown-Warren-Boardman area; saw a 9.7 percent unemployment rate in 2011, which dropped by 4.7 percent in 2014, below the state average.

Aaron Dodds, Economic Development Director of Carroll County said in the Youngstown Business Journal, “The impact over the last three years is clearly transformative. Farmers who once struggled have now paid off their debts, preventing foreclosures or sales of their assets. Cash flows at a rate never before experienced in the history of the county. Equipment dealerships, restaurants, service businesses flourish; manufacturers have moved into the area; and new construction is visible along the major business corridor in Carrollton. People are starting to spend money, no longer waiting for a knock on the door with someone saying they want their check back.”

As we ended 2014, Ohio doubled the number of horizontal shale wells in the state over the course of the year—with 650 shale wells in 2013, reaching 1,300 wells to end 2014, concentrated in the eastern part of the state. As the industry is starting to mature in Ohio, 2015 is expected to bring an investment in processing facilities and pipelines to create a more efficient means of transporting Ohio’s resource. Ohio manufacturing and shale-drilling jobs will continue to increase in 2015, as constructing this infrastructure will surely secure jobs for many years to come.

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