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Posted: Thursday, 19 September 2013 6:20AM

Report: Natural gas boom should last decades

A new report outlines that the huge economic benefits from America's natural gas boom should last several decades, and  Louisiana, already benefiting, could see tens of millions of dollars and thousands of new jobs by 2025.

It's being called America's New Energy Future, shifting global competitiveness to the United States for manufacturing. 

Natural gas liquids are a byproduct used in chemical production.  Robust supplies of them, especially ethane will keep prices low, and drive more manufacturing back to the U.S. according to this new report from IHS, a global information company.

Click here to view a slideshow with more information from IHS...

"It's a great opportunity for Louisiana, and for the country as a whole," says Martha Moore, senior director for policy and economics at the American Chemistry Council.  "Louisiana is already the second largest chemistry producing state with over $68 billion in output and we do anticipate that will grow substantially as these investments come on line." 

The IHS report says there will be $100 billion in new investments producing over 300,000 new jobs nationally in the next twelve years.

Louisiana is sitting at the forefront of the natural gas boom, which is driving much of the manufacturing renaissance that will include even more industrial expansion as North American basic chemical and plastics production is expected to more than double by 2020.

"It's not only a chemical industry story," says Moore.  "Whenever you build a new chemical plant you are also going to provide employment for industry in the supply chain.  And those industries, and those in the chemical industry, get paid very good wages, and they go out and spend those wages in the community."

A recent ACC report found that "Investment has already begun, with dozens of companies planning shale-related projects. As of this week, 126 chemical industry projects representing $84 billion in capital investment has been announced - 54 percent of which is foreign direct investment in the U.S."

(Graphic from the American Chemistry Council)

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