My Heart is with the Independents - it's the little guys who are making it happen. Creating jobs that is. According to the IPAA, there are nearly 18,000 independent oil and gas producers in America. A surprising figure to most is that on average, they employ 11 employees, but their work product, ie, the generating of oil and gas drilling prospects, generate multiple jobs for everyone else down the food chain - and there are lots of them. Landmen, geophysical workers, truck drivers, pipe manufacturers, drilling contractors, roughnecks, pipeline companies, oil and gas marketers, traders, refining personell, and more. Their Output - here's a startling stat for you. Independents drill 95% of the wells in the U.S. and produce 85% of the nat gas and 54% of the crude oil in this country. That amounts to 4% of the entire U.S. gross domestic product, supporting almost 4 million American jobs. Moreover these are great paying jobs for the most part.
The Upshot - we're a long way from the notion of "energy independence" in this country. A very long way. In the meantime, let's be realistic (and thankful) to an industry and it's people who are making our lives more enjoyable through supplying the energy we need to make our lives go round.[ic-c]