Florida to benefit most from oil & natural gas production in eastern Gulf, report says

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Florida stands to benefit more than any other state from oil and natural gas in the eastern Gulf of Mexico, says a new study released today by the American Petroleum Institute (API) and the National Ocean Industries Association (NOIA).

The NOIA/API joint study, named “Untapped Potential,” was produced by Quest Offshore Resources, Inc. It charted national and state-specific economic benefits on jobs, investment and government revenue.

According to “Untapped,” oil and natural gas production in the eastern Gulf  could contribute significantly to Florida’s economy, with 85,000 jobs – 21,000 direct and 66,000 indirect – and nearly $6.5 billion per year to the state GDP by 2035. Cumulative revenue from 2017 to 2035 could reach over $18.7 billion.

Currently, 87 percent of federal waters are banned from oil and gas exploration and production due to a congressional moratorium, which includes around 98 percent of the eastern Gulf.

The report suggests that if leasing began early 2018, exploratory drilling would possibly start by 2019. Projects could then begin producing oil and natural gas by 2023 based on ramping up operations into previously discovered deposits with existing infrastructure.

If the state is included in the current state/federal revenue-sharing arrangement of 37.5 percent, Florida’s share of oil and natural gas activities in the Eastern Gulf could reach nearly $2.8 billion per year.

Oil and natural gas development in the eastern Gulf could create up to 230,000 new jobs along the Gulf Coast and increase domestic energy production by about 1.0 million barrels of oil per day. Such growth would generate more than $69 billion for the U.S, $114.5 billion in new private sector spending and $18 billion per year into the national economy.

Wednesday’s API report is a compliment to a study last year on benefits from Atlantic OCS; a similar report examining potential economic advantages from oil reserves in Pacific federal waters was also released today.

API is the nation’s largest trade association for the oil and natural gas industry. It represents 400 companies involved in the petroleum industry, including production, refinement and distribution. NOIA represents more than 300 member companies to promote the safe development of offshore energy. Membership  includes companies actively involved in or seeking renewable and alternative offshore energy opportunities.

Peter Schorsch is the President of Extensive Enterprises and is the publisher of some of Florida’s most influential new media websites, including SaintPetersBlog.com, FloridaPolitics.com, ContextFlorida.com, and Sunburn, the morning read of what’s hot in Florida politics. SaintPetersBlog has for three years running been ranked by the Washington Post as the best state-based blog in Florida. In addition to his publishing efforts, Peter is a political consultant to several of the state’s largest governmental affairs and public relations firms. Peter lives in St. Petersburg with his wife, Michelle, and their daughter, Ella.