For communities across the U.S., shale oil and gas production has become a powerful economic engine. Our investment in our North Dakota operations, for example, has created more than 4,000 local jobs.
These jobs create other jobs, driving further employment opportunities for supply chain partners as well as regional and local businesses. Because of job growth in the energy industry within North Dakota, the state has maintained one of the lowest unemployment rates in the nation for several years.
Since 2011 Hess has built a strong position in Ohio’s Utica Shale and we plan to invest more during the next five years. The Ohio Chamber of Commerce predicts that by 2014 the oil and gas industry will generate 66,000 jobs and $5 billion in revenue statewide. Ohio’s unemployment rate has decreased since shale production began, falling from 8.9 percent in the summer of 2011 to 6.8 percent in late 2012.
In addition to job creation, shale oil and gas development has offered economic advantages to landowners and leaseholders. In the past six years, our annual production royalty payments to North Dakota Mineral Owners have increased by 850 percent to more than $171 million.
In every state where we have shale oil and gas production, increased tax revenue has helped close budget gaps. Additionally the lower cost of energy has led to a resurgence of key industries such as steel, petrochemicals and energy intensive manufacturing.
As more international shale oil and gas opportunities are appraised, similar economic advantages and job creation may be realized by other nations with similar resources.