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Shale transforming U.S. economy, API says

Jan. 11, 2013 at 9:49 AM

WASHINGTON, Jan. 11 (UPI) -- Future development of shale natural resources in the United States may be a panacea for environmental and economic concerns, a trade group said.

A report from consultant company IHS stated that unconventional oil and natural gas development has contributed to economic recovery in U.S. states with abundant reserves.

The report said medium-term economic growth may be expected in Ohio given the abundance of oil and natural gas jobs associated with the Utica shale play. IHS predicted an "unprecedented growth in employment" in North Dakota because of the shale boom under way in the Bakken play.

API Vice President for Policy and Economic Analysis Kyle Isakower said shale developments were transformative to the U.S. economy.

"Shale development has also increased the affordability of energy while helping to reduce U.S. greenhouse gas emissions and strengthened U.S. manufacturing that uses low-cost natural gas, either as a feedstock, an energy input, or both," he said in a statement. "Future shale energy development could expand all of these trends."

Shale development is controversial because of a perceived environmental threat. New technologies such as hydraulic fracturing have sparked concerns that development of shale reserves may contaminate groundwater supplies.

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