Shale exploration and development heats up US onshore job market

While the drilling moratorium has hit the US petroleum industry hard, especially when you think about the thousands of oil and gas professionals who have been shelved during this tumultuous time. Fortunately, the shale exploration and development is booming across the US, and the job market is just as hot.

I've always heard that when one door closes, another opens -- and true to form with regard to the petroleum industry, shale has blown open all sorts of employment and economic doors.

Although geologists have known that the US sat atop various shale plays for decades, extracting these hydrocarbons has historically proven extremely difficult. Shale is by definition trapped in finely grained sedimentary rock, which has until recently stumped both the exploration and production side things.

With myriad improvements in technologies, the oil and gas industry has recently been able to tap these domestic resources. Improvements in horizontal and direction drilling, as well as developments in hydraulic fracturing have enabled operators to ramp up onshore oil and gas production through these shale plays.

With the number of rigs soaring in multiple states due to shale drilling, field development and even pipeline construction has soared in recent months due to increased activity in the US shale plays. And increased activity in the shale plays equals more jobs for US oil and gas professionals.

The Marcellus Shale play in Pennsylvania alone is adding tens of thousands of jobs to the state, and there are so many oilfield workers tapped for North Dakota's Bakken Shale play that housing has become an issue. Furthermore, these jobs extend beyond the petroleum industry. Increase revenue, royalties and leasing payments, as well and indirect employment is also boosted by this petroleum rush.

In fact, states across the nation are seeing economic spikes from shale activities.

"The game-changing development of natural gas supplies in shale regions has great potential to improve the economic well-being of communities across the United States, while providing access to a clean domestic energy source,” said Regina Hopper, America’s Natural Gas Alliance (ANGA) president and CEO.

Interested in finding a job in the shale industry? Visit PennEnergyJOBS to find your next career.

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