The EIA released data yesterday on U.S. natural gas production and reported that 2,414,685 million cubic feet of natural gas was produced in May, second only to the all-time monthly record set in March of 2,422,763 million cubic feet. On a three-month moving average basis to smooth out variability, the three-month average for March-May was the highest natural gas production on record (see chart above).
As a follow-up to yesterday's post about how the shale gas boom has boosted the demand for steel tubes and brought new life, investment and 400 jobs to Youngstown, Ohio comes this story today from National Public Radio "Natural Gas Extraction Creates A Boom For Sand":
The rise of fracking as a method for extracting natural gas from shale rock has triggered demand for a key ingredient in the process: silica sand. In parts of the upper Midwest, there's been a rush to mine this increasingly valuable product.
Sandstone deposits are plentiful and accessible across the upper Midwest and in Texas and Oklahoma. Dozens of companies are ramping up production and expanding their mines and quarries to meet the huge demand.
At the Pattison Sand Co. in Iowa, business has been booming. Over the past 6 months, the company has hired 50 workers. To meet fracking demand, it's running 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, all year long."
Bottom Line: The "natural gas revolution" is not only creating thousands of new U.S. jobs directly involved with the exploration, drilling and extraction of shale gas, but it's also creating thousands of new jobs in the domestic industries that support shale gas production, like steel tubes and shale sand, to highlight just a few.