Natural Gas Powers Economic Growth

Natural gas fuels manufacturing booms, creates jobs and increases GDP in many countries.

The natural gas industry is a major contributor to the GDP of many countries. It is by nature large-scale, employing thousands, generating millions of dollars in associated revenues and tax income, as natural gas has to be extracted from the ground in enough volume to be economically viable. But natural gas also enables other industries, particularly those that are very energy intensive. Natural gas production in the U.S. alone added $385 billion to the country’s GDP in 2008. The shale gas industry contributed more than $76 billion to the U.S. GDP in 2010 and is expected to add $118 billion by 2015 and $231 billion in 2035 to the country’s economic performance. Gas exporting countries as diverse as the UK, Netherlands, Russia, Qatar, Australia and Indonesia have benefited from the enormous economic benefits that are the combinations of the following:

  • New job creation across the skills and knowledge base, from entry level to PhD
  • Employment transformation from “old” industries such as coal and steel to “new” high-tech natural gas extraction and innovative appliances
  • A local source of natural gas can act as a catalyst to other industries such as chemicals, driving wider economic growth
  • Wider job creation in the industry itself from upstream exploration & production ("E&P") companies, midstream processing and pipeline transportation companies, downstream local distribution companies, suppliers and onsite construction service providers, natural gas pipeline construction and manufacturers of field machinery and equipment; to the industry’s supporting arms focusing on law, human resources, public relations and many other aspects.
  • Taxation of profits and of gas production

Without natural gas, a number of industries would not be able to perform and contribute to an economy’s output. A study by the Center for Global Development (CGD), found that the greater use of natural gas for electricity could help lift some countries out of poverty by providing greater access to affordable and reliable power.