Is the new oil boom going to make you rich?
If you own mineral rights to your home, there may be an unexpected paycheck in your future – but for the rest of us, America's new horizontal drilling and hydraulic fracturing technologies could mean relief from oil cartel boycotts, fuel shortages and high prices at the gas pump. However, not everybody is happy about it.
Independent driller Jimmy Reliford says it doesn’t take large amounts of money or knowledge to win at the oil drilling game, either. “The United States is the Saudi Arabia of natural gas, and we need to be drilling here in America, and we need to be independent,” he said. “There’s enough in North Dakota, Wyoming and Montana that maybe one day we won’t need foreign oil.”
There’s been “a lot of attention on the jobs and businesses being created due to America’s shale energy revolution,” writes Mark J. Perry for the American Enterprise Institute, “but there hasn’t always been a lot of attention paid to the ‘staggering wealth’ that is being created from the billions of dollars in royalties being paid to the fortunate landowners in oil and gas-producing states. The shale revolution has undoubtedly created thousands of new millionaires in Texas, North Dakota and Pennsylvania since the shale revolution started five years ago, and that’s another reason that the local economies in dozens of America’s oil and gas patches are booming. Welcome to America’s millionaire-creating energy miracle.”
“Because of these new processes, Goldman Sachs predicts that in just five years, the U.S. could pass Saudi Arabia and Russia as the world’s largest oil producer,” report Whitman and Alfonsi. “Finally, a decades-old dream, talked about by every U.S. president since Richard Nixon, seems possible – energy independence.”
The boom is still creating as many as 2,000 millionaires a year in North Dakota, said Bruce Gjovig, founder of the Center for Innovation at the University of North Dakota. Many oil region residents receive $50,000 or $60,000 a month in oil royalties and some more than $100,000, said David Unkenholz, a senior trust officer at First International Bank & Trust in Watford City.
“Shale energy has been a game changer for economic growth,” Stephanie Catarino Wissman, executive director of the Associated Petroleum Industries of Pennsylvania, told The DC Caller. “Hydraulic fracturing provided $62 billion in additional government revenue in 2012 and will provide more than $111 billion in 2020. 1.7 million jobs are currently supported by unconventional oil and natural gas activity, and that number grows to some 2.5 million jobs in 2015, 3 million jobs in 2020, and 3.5 million jobs in 2035.”