A report published Wednesday by an industry group found that hydraulic fracturing, or fracking, for oil and natural gas in Texas’ Barnett shale formation produced $11.8 billion each year and created more than 107,000 permanent jobs.
The report, entitled “An Energy Revolution: 35 Years of Fracking in the Barnett Shale,” highlights the scale of the fracking boom in Texas. The geologic formation around the Barnett Shale has used fracking to produce more than 15 trillion cubic feet of natural gas since 2003, enough to heat 225 million homes for one year. Nearly two-thirds of U.S. natural gas production currently comes from fracking, up from just one percent in 2000, according to the report.
The report was written by the pro-industry group North Texans for Natural Gas. The group’s website claims that it has more than 150,000 supporters from all over North Texas.
“The United States is in the midst of an energy revolution,” states the report’s executive summary. “Few experts saw this transformation coming, and it was made possible by the use of hydraulic fracturing (fracking) and horizontal drilling, which allowed oil and natural gas to be unlocked from tight rock (shale) formations. This revolution first began in North Texas 35 years ago, with the Barnett Shale being the birthplace of modern-day fracking.”
Fracking is the process of using a high-pressure water mixture to release natural gas or oil from rock, unlocking reserves that were previously economically unfeasible to access. The use of this process has triggered an oil and natural gas boom, which allowed the U.S. to pass Russia as the world’s largest producer of both oil and natural gas.
The study found that lower natural gas prices from fracking saved the average Texan $432 in energy and home heating costs in Texas between 2007 and 2013. A similar report published early last month by the federal Energy Information Administration (EIA) found that cheap oil and natural gas provided by fracking lowered the annual cost of living for the average American by almost $750.