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.”
“You can’t tell the average Joe farmer from the average Joe millionaire,” Ward Heidbreder, Stanley city coordinator told Bailey. Average income in Mountrail County, the hub of the North Dakota oil production boom, has “roughly doubled in five years,” writes Bailey, “ranking it in the richest 100 U.S. counties – including New York City and Marin, California.”
“The average shale oil well costs anywhere from $5-10 million to drill, complete and put into production,” writes Insley. “Once put in to production, though, the estimated ultimate recovery for a productive well could pay out to the tune of $30-40 million.
“You get the idea,” writes Insley. “There’s a lot of money to be made here. An average land-leaser could expect to get anywhere from 10-25 percent of the payout on oil production. With a little back of the envelope math, it’s not out of the question to think that some of these local farmers and land-owners are cashing in 6-digit checks every quarter. If they have multiple wells on their property, the payout could grow even higher.”
“When it comes to shale oil, the first two places you’ll want to look are clear,” writes Insley, “the Eagle Ford formation in Texas and North Dakota’s booming Bakken formation.” For natural gas, Pennsylvania is a hot spot. Other fields are developing in Ohio and Arkansas.
The new found wealth of natural gas – tapped by such new technologies as hydraulic fracking is “set to create a ‘new world’ of energy,” writes Insley – and could mean an end to billions paid to foreign producers daily.
They’re not at all happy about that. Billionaire Saudi Prince Alwaleed bin Talal has warned shale oil and gas development poses a threat to the kingdom’s economy, the Wall Street Journal’s Summer Said reports. In an open letter to Saudi oil minister Ali al Naimi [in Arabic], Alwaleed also warns" “Our country is facing a threat."An anti-fracking film, “Promised Land,” starring Matt Damon recently bombed at the box office. Financed by the royal family of the oil-rich United Arab Emirates, the documentary attempted to prove that fracking is dangerous, reported Lachlan Markay.