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Economy and Business

Shale drilling numbers were inflated, Pennsylvania group says
Shale Research Collaborative report claims oil and natural gas industry exaggerated economic impact of drilling in Ohio

Amy Cooknick
Harrisburg, PA:

An environmental policy group is claiming the oil and natural gas industry exaggerated the number of jobs created by Marcellus and Utica shale drilling in Ohio.

The Multi-State Shale Research Collaborative released its study last week.

Stephen Herzenberg, an economist with the Pennsylvania-based collaborative, says there are jobs in the shale industry, but not nearly as many as the energy industry suggests.

Herzenberg says the industry's study contains critical flaws

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“You’re talking about implausible assumptions that drive up the number of supply chain jobs, drive up the number of consumer jobs generated by drilling," Herzenberg says. "The bottom line is, any study is only as good as the assumptions that go into the model, and these assumptions are flawed.”

Herzenberg says his report shows the industry inflated projections for the economic impact of drilling jobs in Ohio. He says despite industry-funded claims, shale drilling has created tens of thousands of jobs across multiple states, not hundreds of thousands.

The Ohio Department of Natural Resources reports Ohio natural gas production increased 18.4 percent in 2012.

Representatives from the Ohio Oil and Gas Association were unavailable for comment.

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