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Ohio State University Extension


Shale Energy Economic Analysis

The recent technological advancement and convergence of two long practiced processes including horizontal directional drilling and hydraulic fracturing has unlocked the potential to economically recover natural gas and natural gas liquids from shale formations across the nation. For example, in the year 2000 natural gas production from shale formations represented 1% of the total U.S. natural gas production, while in 2012 the shale gas share of total U.S. natural gas production increased to 40%. Subsequently, it is projected that over the next 15 years the United States will transition from being a net importer of 1.5 trillion cubic feet (Tcf) of natural gas in 2012 to a net exporter of 5.8 Tcf in 20401

The economic impacts of shale energy development include the growing demand for public and private goods and services, increasing tax revenues, and large sums of money for individual landowners. In the short term, shale energy development in the eastern Ohio region has led to an increase in economic activity, specifically in the construction phase including the drilling wells, transportation, and the establishment of pipelines and infrastructure. However, like other natural resource-based economies, oil and gas development typically follows a boom-bust cycle. Following the initial development phase, producing wells and completed pipelines require fewer workers, ultimately ending the boom in economic activity. Numerous historical examples have shown that, in general, a contraction will follow an economic expansion driven by the natural resource sector. Resource economies experience a boom-bust cycle that follows the rise and fall of energy prices contributing to the volatility of the local economy, thereby affecting economic growth2. This web site provides resources to help community leaders, organizational representatives, public officials and community residents better understand the impacts of energy development to their local economy.  

Please click on the call-out buttons below to view additional information, resources, videos, and reports. 

USDA National Institute of Food and Agriculture AFRI Project - Maximizing the Gains of Old and New Energy Development for America’s Rural Communities

U.S. Economic Development Administration Project - Building Sustainable Communities in Ohio’s Shale Region: Leveraging Manufacturing Clusters and Local Assets with Strategic Planning  

Additional Oil and Gas Reports



1United States Department of Energy, Energy Information Administration (USDOE/EIA). (2014). The Annual Energy Outlook 2014 . United States Department of Energy, Energy Information Administration, Washington D.C.

2 Farren, M., Weinstein, A., and Partridge, M. (2012). Making Shale Development Work for Ohio. [Policy Summary Report]. Columbus, OH: Ohio State University. Retrieved from: