U.S. oil and gas boom powers nation's fastest-growing industry

By Sarah Min

/ MoneyWatch

Future of natural gas

President Donald Trump said in his State of the Union address that the U.S. has "unleashed a revolution in American energy." Indeed, after increasing production for years, the U.S. has become the world leader in oil and gas output, making extraction (or mining) the nation's fastest growing industry in the next year, according to a new Oxford Economics report.

Mining is projected to expand by nearly 7 percent this year, thanks to heavy spending on production, such as oil rigs and machine equipment. While that growth is far below the 18 percent expansion the category saw in 2018, it outpaces the growth forecasts for every other industry, including the information sector.

"It's one of those years where things are not too hot or not too cold, so production growth will continue, and revenues and profits will grow," Mark Killion, director of U.S. Industry at Oxford Economics, said.

Fracking technology has made previously untapped reserves of shale oil in the U.S. both accessible and profitable to produce, and helped the U.S. surpass Russia in natural gas production in 2009. America took the top spot in oil production in the middle of last year, according to the U.S. Energy Information Administration.

U.S. imposes sanctions against Venezuela's state oil company

As a rising tide lifts all boats, a strong oil and natural gas industry similarly supports growth across a variety of sectors. It bolsters the production of resins and rubbers in the chemicals sector, which is the fourth-fastest growing industry, according to Oxford Economics, while pipeline production helps the transportation industry.

At No. 2, information includes internet publishing, data processing and web search. Oxford projects that it will continue to expand in 2019, as it keeps monetizing its content more efficiently than ever before.

Here are the top 10 fastest-growing industries from Oxford Economics and its projections for their 2019 growth rates:

First published on February 7, 2019

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