The National Ocean Industries Association (NOIA) has released a new study from Energy & Industrial Advisory Partners (EIAP) that details the diversity of companies and multitude of jobs involved in the exploration, development, and production of U.S. offshore oil and natural gas.

The study, The Gulf of Mexico Oil & Gas Project Lifecycle: Building an American Energy & Economic Anchor, describes how the 30-year lifecycle of each offshore oil and gas project serves as an economic engine for U.S. investment and thousands of high paying jobs.

“The multitude and diversity of U.S. offshore oil and gas jobs begin well before any lease sale," NOIA President Erik Milito said in a statement. "These jobs, which are high paying and accessible, lift countless Gulf Coast communities and support the investment footprint of businesses in every single U.S. state. The Gulf of Mexico has transformed into a national strategic infrastructure asset, and we must make every effort to sustain it through a predictable regulatory system that includes regularly scheduled lease sales and continued permitting.

"While the global economy is transitioning to a lower carbon future, the offshore oil and gas industry is playing a key role through investing in low carbon technologies and developing oil and gas projects that are recognized as providing the lowest carbon barrels," Milito continued. "Government policy should continue to encourage investment in the U.S. Gulf of Mexico energy sector to secure the tremendous energy, climate, and national security benefits for American citizens, as well as help avert potential inflationary risks associated with high energy costs."

According to the study, jobs, and spending for offshore oil and gas projects begin during the pre-lease planning phase, well before a lease is signed with the federal government and continue through the leasing stage all the way through decommissioning. Not only does the continued pause of Gulf of Mexico lease sales remove a critical revenue stream for the federal government through lease bids, but it also puts high paying jobs and billions of dollars of investment at risk, the study said.

There are more than 200 different types of jobs identified in the EIAP study that are directly involved in offshore oil and gas projects. With average annual wages of $69,650, U.S. offshore oil and gas wages are 29% higher than the national average and many of the jobs identified in the report bring in wages significantly higher than that, the study found.

The Gulf of Mexico, including both shallow water and deepwater projects, supported more than 345,000 jobs in 2019 and this number is projected to increase to more than 400,000 jobs if the right government policies are in place, according to the study. 

To download the report, The Gulf of Mexico Oil & Gas Project Lifecycle: Building an American Energy & Economic Anchor, click here.