Oil Investments Essential to Economic Progress

Speaking before attendees of the American Petroleum Institute’s State of American Energy forum, Jack Gerard, API President and Chief Executive Officer stressed that America should look beyond boosting oil development if it wants to further improve oil and gas production and ensure a steady supply of these vital commodities.

He said that the new year brings more opportunities to attain a stronger economy and high employment rates, and the energy sector has helped propel the nation towards this direction for the past few years.

He continued by saying that API approves of U.S. policies that attract more oil investments.

Policies that seek to improve leasing and licensing procedures,  increase accessibility to state-owned regions, encourage oil investments through the imposition of reasonable tax rates and laws on renewable energy, and involve the oil and gas sector to strengthen U.S.’ net exports, are all very encouraging.

API’s 2012 statistics show that a great number of Americans hold the same sentiment. More than 70 percent of the voting population back expansionary energy development efforts.  Also, more than 90 percent believe that a surge in domestic oil and gas exploration could create more jobs, while around 86 percent agree that it can push oil prices down.

Allowing more access to energy resources located in the Pacific and Atlantic regions could raise the number of available jobs in these areas by approximately 260,000. This will also trigger more earnings for the government, of about $27 billion annually, or a cumulative total of $171 billion in the long term.

Meanwhile, API indicated that there are a growing number of women employed in the country’s oil and gas fields. Back 2004, close to 49,000 women were working for the industry. By 2011, the number ballooned to about 78,000 – a hefty 60 percent increase.

Based on publicly available data, the starting salary of a petroleum engineer is $70,000-plus.  In 20 year’s time, it grows to around $211,000.  Meanwhile, the current salary of a landman is around the same level, but usually grows to $160,000 plus within a 20-year time frame.

Presently, firms engaged in the oil and gas industry employ more than 9 million Americans.  As the industry grows, its investments in crude manufacturing and refinery plants could yield another 1.4 million jobs, benefiting the American market.

Gerard stressed that the country’s oil and gas sector is one of the prime movers of the country’s economy as the industry continues to invest in oil exploration, infrastructure, new technology,  its workforce and in the communities in which it operates.