Join The Discussion

 

New arena at Will Rogers takes shape


The proposed Will Rogers Memorial Center arena continues to take shape as voters head for a Nov. 4 election to decide whether to approve new taxes to help pay for the $450 million facility.

read more >

Cooking Class: Fort Worth chef brings home the gold

Toques off to Timothy Prefontaine. The executive chef at the iconic Fort Worth Club is currently the best in the nation, according to the American Culinary Federation. Prefontaine earned the title of 2014 U.S.A.’s Chef of the

read more >

Fort Worth-based Woodmont plans $80M Hard Rock Hotel retail center

Woodmont Outlets of Fort Worth, an affiliate of The Woodmont Co., has partnered with Cherokee Nation Businesses for a proposed upscale retail development at Hard Rock Hotel & Casino Tulsa.

read more >

Fort Worth firm 'simplifies' advertising

Reaching customers requires more than price slashing and flashy ads. In today’s competitive marketplace, machines – not men and women – are essential to tapping new markets and

read more >

Trinity Valley School leader to leave in May 2015

Gary Krahn, head of school for the past eight years at Trinity Valley School in Fort Worth, will leave his position in May 2015 when he and his wife Paula will move

read more >

Oil companies target America for investment

 

Steve Hargreaves


NEW YORK (CNNMoney) -- Here's an intriguing switch in the energy market: U.S. oil firms have been selling off their assets overseas and investing the money in America's domestic fields.

Last year ConocoPhillips announced plans to sell its stake in Kazakhstan's Kashagan oil field -- the largest energy project in the world -- for $5 billion. It was just one of at least six major foreign sales last year for Conoco, which totaled nearly $11 billion, according to industry data provider PLS.

Much of that money is being redirected to investments Conoco has in Texas' Eagle Ford Shale and North Dakota's Bakken Shale, according to PLS Managing Director Brian Lidsky. Conoco did not return a call seeking comment.

American oil firm Hess did something similar, selling over $4 billion of assets in the U.K., Azerbaijan and Russia. A company spokesman said that money went to a number of different initiatives, including paying down debt and building up the company's balance sheet. The spokesman said Hess invested $3.1 billion in North Dakota in 2012, where the company boosted its oil production by 55%.

U.S. oil companies Devon, Marathon, Anadarko, Murphy and Noble Energy have all sold overseas assets in the last couple of years. In addition to Texas and North Dakota, PLS said the money has gone, at least in part, to Colorado's Niobrara and Pennsylvania's Marcellus Shale.

"Everyone is looking to increase their presence in the United States," said Joe Stanislaw, an independent senior energy adviser at the consulting firm Deloitte.

The reason is pretty straightforward: It's generally easier to do business in the United States than in many other places.

Unlike Libya, Iraq and other places that take 90% or more of a company's profits, taxes and royalties in the United States seldom exceed 50%. The geology is better known. The rule of law is strong. Workers are skilled and infrastructure is available. There's little risk of violence.

"The political risk in the United States is they may try to shut you down," Stanislaw said. "They're not going to blow up your camp."

The energy boom in the United States -- made possible by new drilling technology and techniques -- has been well-documented. The country is on track to surpass Saudi Arabia as the world's leading oil producer by 2020.

The expansion certainly comes with environmental risks. The widespread use of hydraulic fracturing, or fracking, to crack the shale rock and allow oil and gas to flow has raised concerns over water contamination and earth quakes. Air pollution, congestion, and other problems plague energy boom towns.

But the boom has brought jobs -- a trend that's likely to accelerate.

More than $5 trillion is expected to be invested in U.S. shale and other "unconventional" energy developments by 2035, according to the consultancy IHS. The money is coming from both U.S. companies and foreign firms eager to get in on the boom.

Some 1.7 million people currently work in or around these new energy plays. By 2035, IHS expects the energy boom to directly or indirectly support 3.5 million American jobs. Around 700,000 of those jobs are expected to materialize within the next two years.

"That's a sizable number of jobs in an economy with a fairly slack labor market," said IHS economist John Larson.

The benefits will ripple beyond states sitting on top of the shale formations, Larson said.

One out of every four jobs already created has taken place in a state that's not seeing any new drilling, by IHS's estimate. The tally includes ancillary hiring such as real estate professionals in New York, insurance agents in Boston or heavy equipment makers in Illinois that are all benefiting, one way or another, from the country's energy boom.

 

< back

Email   email
hide
Arena
What do you think of the new plans for a new Will Rogers arena and changes at the Convention Center?