(PRWEB) April 11, 2014
Taken in a vacuum, the oil industry is a massive success story. Modern drilling fluid additives have made production smoother and easier than ever before, and daily volume is astronomical in a number of critical regions. When you consider the industry's development in the context of the rest of the country, however, the positive effects are thrown into even sharper relief: not only are the companies directly involved in hydraulic fracturing thriving, they're also helping the regions where they do business and the country as a whole.
Three areas in which the industry has been particularly helpful are in fostering national security, creating jobs and supporting ancillary businesses. These benefits are especially pronounced in states like Texas, where oil activity has increased so much that the state is producing at a level once reserved for oil-rich countries.
Oil helps foster national security:
It's simple: the more oil the United States can produce locally, the less it has to import from foreign sources. Thanks in part to drilling fluid specialists, previously inaccessible geological formations are now viable candidates for exploration, and the results have been astounding. Writing in Foreign Affairs, Robert Blackwell explained the global benefit of this sort of increase.
"The energy boom will add fuel to the country's economic revitalization, and the reduction of its dependence on energy imports will give it some measure of greater diplomatic freedom and influence," he writes. "The huge boom in U.S. oil and gas production, combined with the country's other enduring sources of military, economic and cultural strength should enhance U.S. global leadership in the years to come."
Oil creates jobs:
Job creation is always valuable, but the effects of the oil boom on employment have been especially beneficial in the aftermath of the recession. Texas has been able to outpace the national economy in terms of jobs throughout the recovery, largely because of the development of the Eagle Ford Shale. In the two years following July of 2009, the Lone Star state was directly responsible for nearly half of all new jobs in the country, most based somehow around the oil or natural gas industries.
And it's not the only state with such a story. Oil and gas projects are creating jobs nationwide: employment in those fields is up 40 percent since 2007. By comparison, the economy as a whole has a seen a dip of 3 percent in direct employment.
Oil supports ancillary industries:
When it comes to economic boosts created by the oil industry, they go far beyond just those who pump the stuff out of the ground. Industries that use petroleum as feedstock are also thriving, including fertilizers, plastics and cosmetics. In addition, the shipping industry is experiencing a sort of renaissance: as demand increases, having the infrastructure in place to transport oil is critical.
That includes ships. The Jones Act mandates that all goods moved between U.S. ports be carried on domestically built vessels. In essence, the increase in oil production is directly feeding into a surge in local shipbuilding. According to the United State Department of Transportation, the industry is reaching levels it hasn't seen in decades.