The shale gas boom keeps getting louder.
The projected benefits of the "shale effect" to manufacturers have increased considerably since 2011, according to a new forecast issued today by PricewaterhouseCoopers.
In the report, PWC estimates that the ongoing surge in shale gas production could bring annual cost savings of $22.3 billion by 2030, assuming a high natural gas recovery and low price scenario.
And in terms of job creation, PWC projects that the "shale effect" will create 930,000 shale-gas-driven manufacturing jobs by 2030, and 1.41 jobs million by 2040.
Those estimates are markedly greater than the comparable figures in the analysis done in PWC's 2011 study, which showed annual cost savings of $11.6 billion and the creation of approximately 1 million jobs by 2025.
"There's no doubt that the shale gas boom in the U.S. helped trigger a resurgence in manufacturing," says Robert McCutcheon, U.S. industrial products leader for PwC. "Reducing costs, creating jobs and supporting investments and innovations are among the many impacts this game-changing resource has brought to the U.S. manufacturing space.
"Assuming shale continues to serve as a catalyst for the manufacturing sector, we revised our cost savings and longer-term employment estimates significantly upward, and could see those numbers go even higher as more businesses and global interests look to exploit shale opportunities."
The businesses experiencing the biggest benefits from the shale boom are energy-intensive manufacturing sectors such as metals, chemicals and petrochemicals, which all use natural gas as feedstock.
According to the report, growing prospects for building pipelines for the infrastructure that's needed to support natural gas demands in the U.S. could also bring additional benefits to U.S. manufacturers who support those build-outs.
The PWC study, titled "Shale Gas: Still a boon to US manufacturing?" can be downloaded here.