Studies highlight jobs, revenue potential of opening new oil and gas leasing offshore US

Offshore staff

WASHINGTON, DC – Offshore oil and natural gas leasing in the eastern Gulf of Mexico and the US Atlantic and Pacific coasts could create nearly 840,000 American jobs and raise more than $200 billion in revenue for the government, according to new studies released by the American Petroleum Institute (API).

“The oil and natural gas industry is a rare bright spot in our economy,” says Erik Milito, Upstream director for API. “The ability to safely develop new offshore resources is critical to America’s continued energy security and job growth.”

The two studies examine the economic impact of opening the US Pacific outer continental shelf (OCS) and the eastern Gulf of Mexico to offshore oil and natural gas development. A previously released study in this series focused on the Atlantic OCS.

If the federal government begins holding lease sales in these regions in 2018, the three studies show that by 2035:

  • Pacific OCS development could create more than 330,000 jobs and raise $81 billion in government revenue
  • Eastern Gulf of Mexico development could create nearly 230,000 jobs and raise $69 billion in government revenue
  • Atlantic OCS development could create nearly 280,000 jobs and raise $51 billion in government revenue.

These areas today are almost entirely off-limits to offshore oil and gas development but could be included in the federal government’s next five-year leasing program.

“Polling shows that 70% of voters in this year’s midterm elections support offshore drilling, and 57% do not think the federal government does enough to encourage domestic oil and natural gas production,” Milito says. “The next offshore leasing program is an opportunity for the Obama administration to let those voters know their voices are being heard.”

All studies in this series were conducted by Quest Offshore Resources Inc. at the request of API and the National Ocean Industries Association.



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