Natural Gas Production Makes the Difference for PA

Natural Gas ExportsScott Staruch
Quantum Communications, Harrisburg, PA

Natural gas production is making a world of difference to the Pennsylvania economy and things have only just begun. LNG will take things to another plane.

Those living in Pennsylvania’s energy producing communities have seen – and in many cases have been part of – the countless small business turnarounds and entrepreneurial successes as the commonwealth’s natural gas production surges. A new study by the Small Business and Entrepreneurship Council’s Chief Economist Ray Keating quantifies the benefits to small business thanks to Pennsylvania energy production.

Keating’s new analysis examines natural gas production in the U.S. and several states, including Pennsylvania, between 2005 and 2012. In Pennsylvania, Keating finds that as production increased by 1,239% in the seven-year period, the true beneficiaries were small businesses.

natural gas production

Overall, Pennsylvania lost 2% of its businesses with 500 or less employees between 2005 and 2012. However, the following Pennsylvania energy sectors – businesses with 500 or less employees – bucked that disappointing statewide trend:

  • Oil/Gas Extraction Employers increased by over 37%
  • Oil and Gas Pipeline and Related Structures Construction Establishments increased by over 42%
  • Drilling Oil and Gas Wells Establishments increased by nearly 96%
  • Support for Oil and Gas Operations Establishments went up a staggering 236%

So while overall employer establishments declined in Pennsylvania, the energy sector contributed to significant growth for its supply chain small businesses. These statistics affirm Governor Corbett’s energy equals jobs equation. One of the variables in that equation, which could further spur energy jobs for small businesses, is liquefied natural gas (LNG) exports.

“Expanding LNG exports would be the icing on the cake by encouraging future investments and the creation of even more businesses and jobs in our thriving energy sector,” said Ray Keating in conjunction with releasing his study, Benefits of Natural Gas Production and Exports for U.S. Small Businesses: Nationally and Key States.

Keating’s study comes on the heels of the Energy Information Administration’s (EIA) October follow-up report to its January 2012 study of LNG export scenarios. The assessment by the Small Business and Entrepreneurship Council dovetails with EIA. Such as EIA’s findings that: “natural gas markets in the United States balance in response to increased LNG exports mainly through increased natural gas production”; and, that “increased energy production spurs investment, which more than offsets the adverse impact of somewhat higher energy prices when the export scenarios are applied.”

natural gas production

In short, reducing the barriers to LNG exports increases domestic production and maximizes investment.  Just as small businesses have seen enormous benefit from the domestic energy revolution of the past ten years, small businesses will benefit from reducing unnecessary bureaucracy around LNG exports in the years to come.

Outside of policy barriers, LNG export facilities are very expensive and take years to construct. Additionally, there are only so many countries looking to import natural gas, and the U.S. is not the only natural gas producing country with the ability to export. So it’s vital the U.S. (and by extension Pennsylvania) leverage its first-mover advantage.

More energy exports mean more energy investment leading to the continued growth of oil and gas related small businesses in Pennsylvania.  By allowing the free market to determine which American LNG export facilities are built – and removing government’s hand – we can ensure Pennsylvania’s energy revolution continues uninhibited.

Scott Staruch leads the energy practice at Quantum Communications. He can be reached at and at @ScottStaruch.

Check out what else is new at NaturalGasNow today!


While you’re at it, follow us on FacebookTwitter and Linked-In!


Print Friendly, PDF & Email

4 thoughts on “Natural Gas Production Makes the Difference for PA

  1. Pingback: Natural Gas Production Makes the Difference for PA | ShaleNOW

  2. Always only telling the good points but No one seems to want to address the negatives that have occurred ,of which there are plenty .If NG co’s were “Responsible ” like they claim they wouldn’t pass the buck when it comes to fixing what they cause to residents living near NG drilling operations .JUST the facts here !

  3. The energy sectors have certainly contributed to small business survival; and job creation..The world-wide trend says this will continue into the for-seem able future….The agriculture and energy sectors produce the same negatives as like any growth industries.,certainly job creation a welcome addition from the standview of the domestic economy moving forward …its a win, win for the mums and dads on struggle street…

  4. Pingback: Fracking Reviews Share | Fracking Reviews Fracking – 2014-11-17 Update #2

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *