We’ve probably all witnessed the declining prices at the gasoline pump. If we’re investors heavily invested in oil stocks, we may be feeling a reverse emotion. Depends. There is no doubt that the current shale gas/shale oil boom in the US has a significant impact on the economy and our financial health. Here’s a report revealing the impact on manufacturing.
PwC US increased its forecast on cost savings and long term employment gains in U.S. manufacturing as a result of the surge in shale gas production on Dec. 11. The new estimates are part of PwC’s updated analysis on the significant contributions shale gas is making in revitalizing the U.S. manufacturing landscape.
According to PwC’s new report titled, Shale Gas: Still a boon to US manufacturing?, PwC estimates that the continued “shale effect” on U.S. manufacturing could bring an annual cost savings of $22.3 billion by 2030, assuming a high natural gas recovery and low price scenario. In terms of job creation, PwC estimates that continued shale gas activity will create 930,000 shale gas driven manufacturing jobs by 2030 and 1.41 million by 2040. These estimates are comparable to the analysis done in PwC’s 2011 study, which showed an annual cost savings of $11.6 billion and approximately one million jobs by 2025.
“There’s no doubt that the shale gas boom in the U.S. helped trigger a resurgence in manufacturing,” said Robert McCutcheon, U.S. industrial products leader, PwC. “Reducing costs, creating jobs and supporting investments and innovations are among the many impacts this game-changing resource has brought to the U.S. manufacturing space. Assuming shale continues to serve as a catalyst for the manufacturing sector, we revised our cost savings and longer term employment estimates significantly upward, and could see those numbers go even higher as more businesses and global interests look to exploit shale opportunities.”
Among the industries continuing to benefit are energy intensive manufacturing sectors such as metals, chemicals and petrochemicals, which all use natural gas as feedstock. According to the report, growing prospects for building pipelines for the infrastructure that’s needed to support natural gas demands in the U.S. could also bring additional benefits to U.S. manufacturers who support those build-outs.
The survey also uncovered a continued rise in the number of companies commenting to the investment community on how shale gas activity affects their business. In 2013, 40 U.S. manufacturing companies included shale gas impacts in their public filings, up from 29 in 2011. “More companies are publicly disclosing a link between natural gas production as a material advantage for their business and a source for growth in demand for their products,” noted McCutcheon.
PwC’s report also identified developments that could potentially impact the benefits of shale gas development to U.S. manufacturers. These include environmental issues, supply exceeding demand, insufficient natural gas refueling infrastructure, and changes in tax policy that could affect capital investments.