US oil and gas boosts thousands of firms: Energy group

A worker walks toward a part of a Consol Energy Horizontal Gas Drilling Rig exploring the Marcellus Shale outside the town of Waynesburg, PA.
Mladen Antonov | AFP | Getty Images

The effects of the U.S. oil and gas renaissance are being felt far and wide, with a broad range of nearly 30,000 companies benefiting from the energy boom, a report issued by the American Petroleum Institute said on Tuesday.

Over the last three years, crude and natural gas has supported almost 10 million full and part-time jobs, said the API, which is a trade organization for the energy industry.

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It claims that crude and natural gas have generated nearly 8 percent of U.S. economic activity. The report said that the boom benefits firms including real estate companies, uniform makers, environmental conservation products and laboratories.

The U.S. energy sector "is not just a secure source of energy, it's a reliable customer" for thousands of medium and small businesses, said API Upstream Group Director Erik Milito, on a conference call with reporters. The API has previously touted the positive effects of the U.S. energy boom.

The API's report is likely to fuel an ongoing battle between hydraulic fracturing advocates and those concerned about the negative environmental effects of so-called "fracking." Tuesday's report contradicts a recent study commissioned by the Multi-State Shale Research Collaborative, which tracks shale drilling across states such as Pennsylvania, Virginia and Maryland.

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According to a study released last November, the group asserted growth in shale jobs "makes little difference to state job growth," adding that information from the oil and gas industry was misleading.

"Between 2005 and 2012, less than four new shale-related jobs have been created for each new well," the MSSRC's study said. "This figure stands in sharp contrast to the claims in some industry-financed studies, which have included estimates as high as 31 for the number of jobs created per well drilled."

The API claims otherwise. The country's global clout as an energy producer "is growing, and businesses are growing with it," Milito said. Although only 14 states are classified as top energy producers, the survey said the effects are being felt across most of the 50 states.

Energy powerhouses Texas, Louisiana and North Dakota—which account for nearly $400 billion in oil and gas derived revenues and more than 2 million jobs combined—are among the biggest beneficiaries.

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Still, "states at the lower end of the production spectrum are not excluded from the economic benefits of the energy revolution," the API's report said. "Residents in these states continue to enjoy strong employment and revenue gains tied to the oil and natural gas industry."

—By CNBC's Javier E. David.