NTX Magazine Volume 1 - Page 41

Industry Spotlight ENERGY Drilling Deep with Booming Effects for North Texas Barnett Shale brings energy renaissance to the region A Chesapeake Energy natural gas rig drills in Fort Worth with the company’s North Texas office in the background. L ocated in 5,000 square miles in 24 counties across North Texas, the Barnett Shale is a plentiful natural resource that is changing the region’s landscape. Shale gas production is considered to be one of the most significant energy developments in recent decades. The natural gas is abundant, affordable, produced in the U.S., and is a clean-energy source that can be used to power homes, businesses and even automobiles. www.ntc-dfw.org A nationwide boom in natural gas production has proven to have a profound economic impact within drilling boomtowns that have sprung up around North Texas, Pennsylvania and across Western states – and producing this clean, domestic energy source is creating jobs, stimulating businesses and growing local economies. The Barnett Shale is the nation’s largest gas-producing area (over 9 trillion cubic feet of natural gas have been produced thus far), and even through the recent recession, its booming effect on the area’s economy doesn’t show signs of slowing down anytime soon. “The far-reaching benefits to our communities from the vast natural gas deposits 1.5 miles below our feet in the Barnett Shale are enormous,” said Julie Wilson, VP of Urban Development for Chesapeake Energy. “Nearly everyone in North Texas is touched in a positive way by the natural gas industry.” Both Devon Energy Corporation and Chesapeake began drilling for natural gas in North Texas about 10 years ago. Approximately 38 percent of the region’s economic growth over the past decade stems from activity surrounding the Barnett Shale, and local employment is even 8.7 percent higher than the national average because of it. According to recent reports, nearly 12 percent of total employment in Texas can be attributed to the natural gas industry. “Devon has a long history in North Texas and our commitment to enhancing the quality of life in the region is strong,” said Jay Ewing, Manager of Completions & Construction for Devon. “Our success in the Barnett Shale has allowed us and other companies to invest in long-term growth, which has helped support local communities during challenging economic times.” The Barnett Shale has created over 100,000 permanent, full-time jobs in the North Texas region. In 2011, Chesapeake itself employed more than 1,000 people in the Barnett, which was up 17 percent from the previous year. The comp