Job opportunities galore are available in the natural gas industry. Because natural gas is generally cleaner-burning than oil and products derived from oil, gas demand is healthy and the industry wants to make sure supplies are sufficient to meet demand. President Barack Obama has continually expressed interest in getting more clean burning natural gas to the lower-48.
In Focus: Natural Gas Pipelines
According to the Independent Petroleum Association of America (http://www.ipaa.org/,) the number of rigs drilling for natural gas has increased significantly between 2000 and now. In addition, according to the U.S. Energy Information Administration (http://www.eia.doe.gov/) natural gas demand will rise enough for gas to supply 25% of America’s primary (non-renewable) energy needs within just a few years, up for about 20% today and after years of flat demand. Oil and coal demand, by contrast, will trend downward, while demand for nuclear-generated energy will continue in a freefall, EIA further predicts.
Here are a few other fast-facts about natural gas from the Independent Producers Association of Rocky Mountain States and Energy Information Association, which underpin this energy resource’s promise for good jobs for years to come:
Natural gas is the nation’s fastest-growing energy source. Longer-term demand through 2025 is expected to increase by 40%, including 50% growth in gas demand for electric power generation.
According to the Natural Gas Supply Association, approximately 84 percent of the natural gas used in the U.S. is produced domestically, while most of the rest is primarily from Canada. Only 2 percent of natural gas used in the U.S. comes from other countries.
There are 60 million residential natural gas customers in the U.S. and 5 million commercial and industrial customers. Natural gas fuels about 50% of all industries and 38% of all commercial businesses.
There are now about 110,000 natural gas vehicles operating in the U.S., primarily delivery vehicles with access to natural gas filling stations for entire fleets.
Potential natural gas resources in the U.S. are 1,258 Tcf, or 1.2 quadrillion cubic feet (quads.) That’s enough to supply 60 years worth of supplies at current production rates.
About 59% of estimated potential gas resources are on federal lands and the federal Outer Continental Shelf offshore. How much of these resources are available to drillers varies based on laws governing offshore drilling. Laws can change after every election!
Natural gas consumption increased from 21.7 trillion cubic feet in 2006 and will reach 23.8 trillion cubic feet in 2016, then decline to 22.7 trillion cubic in 2030.
The bottom line is that the natural gas E&P sector is creating a lot of jobs in the U.S. and abroad. Ever heard of the Barnett Shale? Located in North Texas, this gas field has created thousands of jobs: engineers, geologists, accountants, geologists, truck drivers, field workers, administrative staff, welders, landmen, mechanics, and equipment operators.
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