6.18.12 - 20110929_XOM_SeaRiver_0133-scene - FEATURED

In Pennsylvania, a shipyard is back to life due to U.S. energy development

Last fall, I wrote about how U.S. energy development is creating jobs in places you might not expect – such as in the Aker shipyard in Philadelphia.

In September, ExxonMobil affiliate SeaRiver Maritime signed an agreement with Aker to build two new Liberty Class tankers. Last week, the Philadelphia Inquirer looked into what this new business means for the shipyard, which was on the brink of closing just a year ago.

More than 800 workers – many previously laid off – are busy constructing the tankers, which will be used to transport crude oil from Alaska to customers on the U.S. West Coast. The newspaper notes that the $400 million project “set in motion the recalling of workers and the restarting of an apprenticeship program” that had been suspended in 2010 due to the economic downturn, which had caused more than 600 layoffs at Aker.

It’s a good story of hardworking men and women eager to build careers and contribute to the city’s economic success. But it’s also a story of how America’s energy industry – through our investments to ensure reliable, affordable supplies of energy – is helping create good jobs at a time when the nation really needs them.

Nowhere is this job creation more evident than in the rest of Pennsylvania, where growing production of natural gas from the state’s vast shale resources is sparking widespread job growth and economic activity. Recent U.S. Energy Information Administration data show that Pennsylvania’s natural gas production more than quadrupled from 2009 to 2011, thanks to the application of hydraulic fracturing and horizontal drilling technologies. State labor department stats show the corresponding economic growth – jobs in core oil and gas industries grew by 154 percent from 2008 to 2011.

Such numbers don’t include the jobs from the steel mills and other industries that are coming back to life in the region to help supply materials for gas development; or the manufacturers who can take advantage of affordable natural gas supplies; or the hotels and restaurants that have seen demand for their services rise.

Many other states, from Texas to Louisiana to North Dakota, are experiencing similar benefits from shale resource development. A study released just last week by IHS Global Insight found that in 2010, unconventional gas activity supported 1 million jobs – and that number is expected to grow to nearly 1.5 million jobs in 2015. That’s not to mention the nearly $50 billion in federal, state and local government revenue this activity is expected to create by 2015.

When you put it all together, it’s clear that developing U.S. energy supplies is not only benefiting consumers; it’s also putting U.S. industries back to work and getting state and local economies back on track.


22 Comments

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  1. Andrew Streit says:

    While I applaud EM for creating jobs and keeping people employed through expansion of fossil fuel extraction, refining and distribution, what are the possibilities if Exxon embraced newer energy mining methods such as solar and owned the R&D, distribution and storage sectors. With an annual revenue greater than some countries GDP what could all the brilliant engineers at EM do?!

    • sal esman says:

      They couldn’t do much…solar is expensive as hell, and if wind worked Exxon’s new ships would be powered with sails. Wind is 2000 year old technology. But what is impressive is how natural gas is making our world cleaner and how coal fired power plants are being replaced by natural gas ones. Which are greener and produce way less CO2.

      • da open says:

        sal esman, like far too many salesmen, has peppered his pitch with misinformation — or perhaps i should say *disinformation*.

        i’m not buying.

        but for heavy subsidization, neither carbon-based nor nuclear power could compete with solar.

        ‘In “Reconsidering the Economics of Photovoltaic Power,’ …Bloomberg New Energy Finance CEO Michael Liebreich and nine collaborators document the precipitous decline in the price of solar power since 2009. “Average PV module prices have fallen by nearly 75% in the past three years,’ they write, “to the point where solar power is now competitive with daytime retail power prices in a number of countries.”
        http://www.forbes.com/sites/justingerdes/2012/05/24/solar-power-more-competitive-than-decision-makers-or-consumers-realize/

        • Chuck Schwab says:

          When manufacturers are able to bring green energy to this country at a reasonable price….I’ll go for it….what’s this subsidized crap you are talking about??? You obviously have no idea of the profit in petroleum

  2. Rexford Dundon says:

    well, as you can tell from all the failed “green” energy companies, Solyndra, Nevada Geothermal Power and Amonix solar manufacturing, it might be wise to use what you do know, and build the economy before you start wishing on the stars..

    • da open says:

      those failures likely reflect stiff competition coming from the strength of the sector, rather than a weakness:

      ‘In “Reconsidering the Economics of Photovoltaic Power,’ (PDF) BNEF CEO Michael Liebreich and nine collaborators document the precipitous decline in the price of solar power since 2009. “Average PV module prices have fallen by nearly 75% in the past three years,’ they write, “to the point where solar power is now competitive with daytime retail power prices in a number of countries.”
      http://www.forbes.com/sites/justingerdes/2012/05/24/solar-power-more-competitive-than-decision-makers-or-consumers-realize/#

      ‘Yet despite the struggles of U.S. solar PV manufacturing companies, the U.S. market is still bursting with development opportunities. The PV market in the Americas more than doubled in the first half of 2012 to reach 1.7 gigawatts (GW) and is set to reach almost 4.3 GW for the full year according to the Q3 PV Demand Report from IMS Research, which was released today. Aside from China, the report found that the USA would be the largest single contributor to global PV growth in 2012, accounting for 40 percent of new capacity growth.’
      http://www.renewableenergyworld.com/rea/news/article/2012/08/us-solar-pv-market-grows-despite-pv-manufacturer-failures

      • D Smith says:

        Considering the US Energy consumption for 2010 is estimated at about 25 TWh, that puts PV – even at 4.3GWh – at about .017% of energy needs. Not eactly fulfilling from an energy needs perspective. Its well worth developing, but does not realistically measure up to requirements for the foreseeable future.

      • John Rutt says:

        da open, do you think that solar isn’t subsidized? Read again what Rexford wrote. Solyndra and Amonix received huge subsidies in the form of “Stimulus” money, millions of dollars, then they go bankrupt. Where did all of that money go? The “stiff competition” is coming from Communist China, where the industry receives huge government subsidies as well. And, in case you didn’t notice, the sun doesn’t shine on your *** 24/7.

  3. Henry Vogel says:

    Let apauld EXXON! They could have gone to China and had at least 4 ships for what they are spending in the US. Sounds like Andrew would rather have 800 jobs go to China rather than to the good men and women in PA.

    Thank for keeping the jobs home.

    • sal esman says:

      I believe it’s the Jones act that requires domestic us oil, be transported in domestically manufactured ships if the oil is going from a domestic port to a domestic port. IE Exxon had to use american built ships…Happy they are, but just pointing out that they didn’t do it out of their good graces… by the way love Exxon and drill more…

      • Steve Evans says:

        Port to port shipping within US waters is only required to be made by US owned or US flagged vessels. The nation that manufactures the vessel is not at issue.

        • JoAnn Yozura says:

          the nation is an issue
          The Merchant Marine Act of 1920 (P.L. 66-261) is a United States federal statute that regulates maritime commerce in U.S. waters and between U.S. ports. Section 27, better known as the Jones Act, deals with cabotage (i.e., coastal shipping) and requires that all goods transported by water between U.S. ports be carried in U.S.-flag ships, constructed in the United States, owned by U.S. citizens, and crewed by U.S. citizens and U.S. permanent residents.

        • thomas klein says:

          But exportation of oil or natural gas must be with ships whose keel was laid in US shipyard. See ( the Jones Act) it is the reason that no less than 14 ships are under construction in US shipyards for LNG transport.

      • Randy Livsey says:

        The headline should read “In Pennsylvania, a shipyard is put back to work by the Jones Act”. EM is part of the opposition to the Jones Act. Oil companies have supported temporary suspensions of the Jones Act whenever possible. US flagged vessels must comply with scrutiny that “flag of convenience” vessels can ignore.

  4. larry houser says:

    The natgas glut leading to exporting it to EU is a short term boom as it depends on a shrinking resource even more valuable then energy and electricity…..Water …of which the gas boom by water intensive fracking methods is short lived at best ,,, Oil is ever more expensive due to shrinking reserves leading to eventual huge energy shifts away from fossil fuels … in short our energy is a bubble heading to a serious change in our way of life…preparing now would be a wise investment

    • sal esman says:

      Right cause the northeast is going to run out of water…LMAO. I drove through marcelus shale region this week, rained the whole day. New York city uses more water in 1 hour, than all the drilling in our country will use in a year.

    • jon daly says:

      larry, you must live in arizona. the natural gas boom is occurring in the Midwest. Think Great Lakes, Mississippi River, Ohio River…you know, the water states.

      P.S. The water used in fracking can be reclaimed.

    • thomas klein says:

      Yea sure, and making solar panels, electric motors and most of all batteries doesn’t take water? It takes more than Natural Gas extraction. How many open pit mines are around the world, like open sores in the earth, mining those rare earth elements, for advanced tech batteries and motors. Your ignorance is stunning.

  5. Linda Langevoort says:

    That is good news. About time someone takes back industry and there are so many that would be thankful to have a new job. Kudos to them.

  6. jon daly says:

    The Energy Industry better enlist these workers in the lobbying effort to protect the natural gas industry.
    the environmental movement is working overtime to kill this job creating, pollution reducing, security enhancing industry.

  7. brian schoenwandt says:

    WITH THE SHORT TERM FAILURE OF 15% OF FRACK CEMENT JOBS, AND THE LONG TERM FAILURE (>5 YEARS) OF 80% OR MORE, looks like the only places that will have viable groundwater will be those places that absolutely cannot be fracked. Thanks, EXXON MOBIL, for helping to destroy our country.
    And, just to put the frosting on the cake,
    ALL THESE FAILED WELLS RELEASE METHANE (NATURAL GAS) WITH 25 – 75 TIMES THE GREENHOUSE EFFECT OF CO2. That’s right, fracking actually makes COAL a better greenhouse deal for America than that Frack Gas.
    Meanwhile, experts say that a parcel of land 2/3 the size of Pennsylvania can supply America’s TOTAL energy needs FOREVER (with maintenance of course) if it were a solar farm. Lots of dry sunny land in CA, NV, AZ, NM. Yes, that sort of production requires infrastructure. Buildout once and maintain. No running around and poking holes in people’s backyards and risking lawsuits, or perhaps eventually armed resistance. Don’t cry the storage blues, batteries have matured, and some other interesting storage technologies can be applied also.

    • thomas klein says:

      Do you EVER get tired of spreading mis-information for your warped agenda? Less then 1% of water wells surrounding Natural Gas Frack sites have been contaminated, and even in that 1% , some may have had contamination from other sources. You know how to tell when a wacko environmentalist is lying, watch when his/her lips move.

  8. Andrew Streit says:

    While I applaud EM for creating jobs and keeping people employed through expansion of fossil fuel extraction, refining and distribution, what are the possibilities if Exxon embraced newer energy mining methods such as solar and owned the R&D, distribution and storage sectors. With an annual revenue greater than some countries GDP what could all the brilliant engineers at EM do?!

    • sal esman says:

      They couldn’t do much…solar is expensive as hell, and if wind worked Exxon’s new ships would be powered with sails. Wind is 2000 year old technology. But what is impressive is how natural gas is making our world cleaner and how coal fired power plants are being replaced by natural gas ones. Which are greener and produce way less CO2.

      • da open says:

        sal esman, like far too many salesmen, has peppered his pitch with misinformation — or perhaps i should say *disinformation*.

        i’m not buying.

        but for heavy subsidization, neither carbon-based nor nuclear power could compete with solar.

        ‘In “Reconsidering the Economics of Photovoltaic Power,’ …Bloomberg New Energy Finance CEO Michael Liebreich and nine collaborators document the precipitous decline in the price of solar power since 2009. “Average PV module prices have fallen by nearly 75% in the past three years,’ they write, “to the point where solar power is now competitive with daytime retail power prices in a number of countries.”
        http://www.forbes.com/sites/justingerdes/2012/05/24/solar-power-more-competitive-than-decision-makers-or-consumers-realize/

        • Chuck Schwab says:

          When manufacturers are able to bring green energy to this country at a reasonable price….I’ll go for it….what’s this subsidized crap you are talking about??? You obviously have no idea of the profit in petroleum

  9. Rexford Dundon says:

    well, as you can tell from all the failed “green” energy companies, Solyndra, Nevada Geothermal Power and Amonix solar manufacturing, it might be wise to use what you do know, and build the economy before you start wishing on the stars..

    • da open says:

      those failures likely reflect stiff competition coming from the strength of the sector, rather than a weakness:

      ‘In “Reconsidering the Economics of Photovoltaic Power,’ (PDF) BNEF CEO Michael Liebreich and nine collaborators document the precipitous decline in the price of solar power since 2009. “Average PV module prices have fallen by nearly 75% in the past three years,’ they write, “to the point where solar power is now competitive with daytime retail power prices in a number of countries.”
      http://www.forbes.com/sites/justingerdes/2012/05/24/solar-power-more-competitive-than-decision-makers-or-consumers-realize/#

      ‘Yet despite the struggles of U.S. solar PV manufacturing companies, the U.S. market is still bursting with development opportunities. The PV market in the Americas more than doubled in the first half of 2012 to reach 1.7 gigawatts (GW) and is set to reach almost 4.3 GW for the full year according to the Q3 PV Demand Report from IMS Research, which was released today. Aside from China, the report found that the USA would be the largest single contributor to global PV growth in 2012, accounting for 40 percent of new capacity growth.’
      http://www.renewableenergyworld.com/rea/news/article/2012/08/us-solar-pv-market-grows-despite-pv-manufacturer-failures

      • D Smith says:

        Considering the US Energy consumption for 2010 is estimated at about 25 TWh, that puts PV – even at 4.3GWh – at about .017% of energy needs. Not eactly fulfilling from an energy needs perspective. Its well worth developing, but does not realistically measure up to requirements for the foreseeable future.

      • John Rutt says:

        da open, do you think that solar isn’t subsidized? Read again what Rexford wrote. Solyndra and Amonix received huge subsidies in the form of “Stimulus” money, millions of dollars, then they go bankrupt. Where did all of that money go? The “stiff competition” is coming from Communist China, where the industry receives huge government subsidies as well. And, in case you didn’t notice, the sun doesn’t shine on your *** 24/7.

  10. Henry Vogel says:

    Let apauld EXXON! They could have gone to China and had at least 4 ships for what they are spending in the US. Sounds like Andrew would rather have 800 jobs go to China rather than to the good men and women in PA.

    Thank for keeping the jobs home.

    • sal esman says:

      I believe it’s the Jones act that requires domestic us oil, be transported in domestically manufactured ships if the oil is going from a domestic port to a domestic port. IE Exxon had to use american built ships…Happy they are, but just pointing out that they didn’t do it out of their good graces… by the way love Exxon and drill more…

      • Steve Evans says:

        Port to port shipping within US waters is only required to be made by US owned or US flagged vessels. The nation that manufactures the vessel is not at issue.

        • JoAnn Yozura says:

          the nation is an issue
          The Merchant Marine Act of 1920 (P.L. 66-261) is a United States federal statute that regulates maritime commerce in U.S. waters and between U.S. ports. Section 27, better known as the Jones Act, deals with cabotage (i.e., coastal shipping) and requires that all goods transported by water between U.S. ports be carried in U.S.-flag ships, constructed in the United States, owned by U.S. citizens, and crewed by U.S. citizens and U.S. permanent residents.

        • thomas klein says:

          But exportation of oil or natural gas must be with ships whose keel was laid in US shipyard. See ( the Jones Act) it is the reason that no less than 14 ships are under construction in US shipyards for LNG transport.

      • Randy Livsey says:

        The headline should read “In Pennsylvania, a shipyard is put back to work by the Jones Act”. EM is part of the opposition to the Jones Act. Oil companies have supported temporary suspensions of the Jones Act whenever possible. US flagged vessels must comply with scrutiny that “flag of convenience” vessels can ignore.