Almost 190,000 new jobs could be created in 2013 if permitting in the Gulf of Mexico for offshore development returned to levels before the Obama administration’s moratorium, a study by Quest Offshore Resources, Inc., says. The study, “United States Gulf of Mexico Oil and Natural Gas Industry Economic Impact Analysis,” also projects a 71 percent increase in Gulf development spending to $41.4 billion and a 70 percent increase in economic activity related to Gulf development to $44.5 billion.
“The slow pace of Gulf development since the accident has cost jobs, revenue and energy production,” said API President and CEO Jack Gerard. “The study shows what could be accomplished on jobs if project approvals and permits could get back to a normal pace. We’ve done the necessary work raising the bar on safety. We cannot continue to delay developing energy and hiring people in the Gulf. The disappointing unemployment numbers from the government last week make this more important than ever,” Gerard added.
Quest Offshore conducted the study for API and the National Ocean Industries Association. Quest based its forecasts on actual project development data and historical benchmarks of spending for specific equipment and services.
“Total employment related to offshore Gulf of Mexico oil and natural gas industry operations could reach 430,000 jobs in 2013 if the permitting slowdown is reversed,” Gerard said. “As large as the jobs numbers are, however, they are just a fraction of all the jobs our industry could create with more forward-looking development policies in all federal onshore and offshore areas. And along with the increased jobs and energy production could come hundreds of billions of dollars of desperately needed additional revenue to the government. Policymakers now debating tax increases on the industry should understand that producing at home more of the oil and natural gas our nation will need is a far better way to help fix our economy and pay down our debt,” Gerard said.