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New Study: Offshore natural gas and oil reserves could provide billions of dollars in revenue for South Carolina


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COLUMBIA, November 15, 2018 – The South Carolina Petroleum Council today released a new study showing that South Carolina’s economy could benefit from nearly $1.6 billion in tax revenues as a result of offshore leasing in the Atlantic Outer Continental Shelf (OCS).

“This new study on the tax generating benefits of offshore activity underscores the fact that the opportunities for growth in South Carolina are exponential at a time when we can use additional economic improvements, investment, and job creation,” said South Carolina Petroleum Council Executive Director Mark Harmon. “The path forward is clear, year-round revenue streams and high-paying jobs from safely tapping natural gas and oil reserves in federal waters off America’s Atlantic coast are the right choice for South Carolina.

“These revenues could be used to alleviate the burden of property taxes, offset college tuition increases, and rebuild state infrastructure. We can’t overstate the benefits this rare opportunity could provide. Coupled with the billions of dollars for the economies of coastal states from previous studies, the additional tax revenues that could be available to South Carolina as outlined in this new study are critical for helping to improve quality of life for South Carolina’s residents.”

The new report titled, The Economic Impacts of Allowing Access to the Atlantic OCS for Oil and Natural Gas Exploration and Development Supplement: Projected State, Local and Federal Tax Receipts, focuses on state tax revenues and was prepared by CALASH on behalf of API. Calash projects that offshore-related natural gas and oil activities in South Carolina could generate additional non-bonus and royalty revenue such as personal and corporate income tax, property tax, and sales taxes. The associated state and local tax revenues are projected to reach more than $165 million annually by the end of the forecast period, according to the report.

Cumulative state and local tax revenues due to industry spending are projected to total nearly $1.6 billion across the 20-year forecast period. This projection includes:

  • Cumulative personal income and payroll taxes: $202,000,000
  • Cumulative personal property and other taxes and fees: $96,000,000
  • Cumulative corporate income tax (Including dividends): $48,000,000
  • Cumulative business sales, property, excise, custom and other: $1,170,000,000

This report builds on a prior study released in March of 2018, which showed that annual spending from Atlantic OCS oil and natural gas exploration and development activity in South Carolina could reach over $2.2 billion within 20 years. For additional information visit Explore Offshore, the website for a bipartisan coalition dedicated to safe and environmentally responsible access to our offshore energy resources to help supply affordable energy for American consumers, small businesses, and manufacturers.

Advanced technology, safety standards, best practices, and regulations are designed to protect the environment, marine life, and workers - while enabling the oil and natural gas industry to work alongside recreational fishing, tourism, and military activities. Since 2010, more than 100 standards were created or strengthened, including for improved safety and environmental management, well-design, blowout prevention, and spill response to ensure we have the best protections and highest safety measures in place.

The South Carolina Petroleum Council is a division of API, which represents all segments of America’s oil and natural gas industry. Its more than 600 members produce, process, and distribute most of the nation’s energy. The industry supports 10.3 million U.S. jobs and is backed by a growing grassroots movement of more than 47 million Americans.

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