Study Shows Developing Atlantic Offshore Oil And Gas Could Spur Economy

January 2014, Vol. 241 No. 1

A study by the National Ocean Industries Association (NOIA) and the American Petroleum Institute (API) indicates that opening the U.S. Atlantic Outer Continental Shelf (OCS) to offshore oil and natural gas development could benefit job creation, domestic investment, government revenue, and U.S. energy security.

The study, conducted by Quest Offshore Inc., shows that offshore oil and natural gas development in the Atlantic OCS could create nearly 280,000 jobs, spur an additional $195 billion in new private investment, contribute up to $24 billion per year to the U.S. economy, generate $51 billion in new revenue for the government, and add 1.3 MMbopd to domestic energy production, between 2017-2035. These are in addition to any jobs and revenue generated by offshore wind or wave energy projects that might take place.

“It is amazing what the offshore energy industry already does for America while only having access to less than 15% of the Outer Continental Shelf. Opening the Atlantic coast to responsible oil and natural gas development could add to our workforce, overall economic growth, government coffers and energy security,” said NOIA President Randall Luthi.

According to the report, if lease sales in the Atlantic OCS were held in 2018, exploratory drilling could begin the following year with the first production of oil and natural gas expected in 2026.

“The key is getting Atlantic lease sales included in the 2017-2022 Offshore Leasing Plan. None of the benefits shown in the study can be realized without actual sales. Everyone is looking for the silver bullet that will decrease unemployment, increase federal revenue without raising taxes, and make America more energy secure. Tapping more of our offshore energy is that elusive silver bullet,” said Luthi.

If offshore revenue sharing were legislated for coastal states to receive 37.5%, the federal government would receive over $33 billion a year and individual states would receive over $19 billion a year by 2035.

“Opening up the Atlantic OCS is only part of the energy equation. The oil and natural gas industry must also be committed to significant financial investment and continue to show that these resources are developed efficiently and safely. A cooperative, respectful relationship between industry and regulators means we can develop those oil and natural gas resources and maintain the highest safety and environmental standards,” said Luthi.

The full study, and executive summary, as well as national and state infographics are available at