FREDERICKSBURG – Virginia could receive up to $250 million dollars annually in revenue sharing payments from offshore energy development, according to a report released today by the Southeast Energy Alliance (SEA).
The report, officially released at the Virginia Governor’s Energy Conference in Richmond, outlines how offshore energy development could ease state taxes, and could help close future budget gaps, while helping to fund critical health care needs, infrastructure and educational projects.
“A tremendous economic opportunity is ready and waiting just off the shores of Virginia,” said Michael Whatley, executive director of SEA. “By allowing offshore development, the state of Virginia would be able to generate thousands of its own high-paying jobs, and produce revenues amounting to new roads, better schools and an economic upswing for years to come. State officials should internalize what this report lays out, and consider what could be gained by simply allowing Virginia to unlock the resources it already has.”
Currently, Alabama, Louisiana, Mississippi and Texas receive 37.5 percent of the revenues collected by the federal government for offshore energy production. Traditional onshore development states, such as Colorado, Montana, New Mexico, Utah and Wyoming, receive 50 percent of the royalties collected for energy development on federal lands. If the Gulf Coast revenue sharing program were extended to Virginia, exploration and production off the state’s coast could contribute up to $250 million annually to the state budget.
The report also indicates that energy exploration and production in the outer continental shelf (OCS) of Virginia would:
- Create more than 1,900 new jobs;
- Increase the state’s gross domestic product by $365 million annually by 2030; and
- Generate approximately $19.48 billion in federal, state and local revenues. This includes $1.275 billion in government revenues between 2010 and 2030, or an average of $63.75 million per year between 2010 and 2030.
According to the report, maps and OCS assessments from the (former) Minerals Management Service (MMS) show that Virginia’s adjacent waters, which make up about 10 percent of the total Atlantic resource base, are projected to contain as much as 750 million barrels of oil and 6.65 trillion cubic feet of natural gas.
NOTE: To view the full report, click HERE.