The oil and gas mining industry account for at least 10 percent of the overall economy in several states, including Texas where the shale boom has made a notable impact in Eagle Ford. According to the U.S. Energy Information Administration, Wyoming has approximately one-third of its economy in the energy industry, largely thanks to natural gas and crude oil found in the Niobrara formation. Additionally, Oklahoma, West Virginia, Oklahoma, and North Dakota all heavily rely on the industry to support local economies.
The Shale Boom made a notable impact in certain states and communities around Eagle Ford and Niobrara. Midstream industry is more important than ever, and continuing efforts to build reliable transportation and permanent infrastructure have brought sustainable jobs for laborers of various skillsets, which range from highly skilled to unskilled labor.
New Opportunities in the Midstream Sector
It is difficult to ignore the substantial impact the oil and gas mining industry have on economic development. The midstream sector has experienced steady growth in the industry since 2008. While permanent infrastructure is built, upstream business has to rely on various forms of ground transportation. Additionally, it is difficult to justify the expenses associated with permanent pipes that may or may not be useful in the foreseeable future.
The midstream sector heavily relies on cooperation of local governing agencies and municipalities, many of which require large mining corporations hire a local workforce for a percentage of the entire scope of the project. Transferring skillsets in the production industry to the midstream sector is not a particularly difficult task. An untrained local workforce with varying demographics can be easily retrained to complete midstream work, such as trucking. Upstream work can be more physically demanding, which may not accommodate a diverse set of local workers.
Brining Local Economies Back to Life
The midstream sector is also fairly sustainable compared to a variety of other industries that utilize unskilled or semi-skilled labor. The transportation industry is not likely to dissipate in the United States in the near future. Additionally, ground transportation is almost always necessary to transport crude oil and wanted byproducts from mining sites to pipe networks. The train explosion in Quebec illustrated the cost and concern associated with freighting natural gas. However, damages can be mitigated when utilizing trucks instead of trains. In short, roads are cheaper and easier to repair than rail.
Domestic Products That Make Sense to Transport in the U.S.
The midstream sector expands opportunities for local communities and large enterprises. The Environmental Protection Agency tends not to like commerce and infrastructure in general, but the rise in mining has shown the importance on natural resources to growing economies. Plus, ample regulations are in place to minimize negative environmental impact.
Crude oil and gas are some of the few domestic products that are effectively mined and transported domestically. The U.S. has largely shifted away from a production or factory economy due to rising costs, and the midstream sector gives local governments the power needed to revitalize notable economies. After all, it is difficult to discount that the crude oil and natural gas mining industry accounts for over 10 percent of the second largest and second most populous state in the nation.