The Business View – October 2014 / From the Publisher

The Business View – October 2014 / From the Publisher

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By Bill Sisson, President & CEO, Mobile Area Chamber of Commerce

So much of what we do at the Mobile Area Chamber involves numbers. Number of Chamber members. Number of new businesses recruited. Number of bills we’re watching in the state legislature. Most often we serve as a prognosticator – ingesting stats, facts and figures to then benchmark Mobile’s growth (or lack of it) in a variety of areas.

One area where we had very little data was in the energy sector and petroleum tank storage industry in Mobile. We needed this information, and in September we released the results from an economic impact study we commissioned. Prepared by Dr. Keivan Deravi with Auburn University at Montgomery, some of the results from it included:

• Mobile County’s economy is the most diverse in the state of Alabama.

• Between the oil and gas sector (onshore and offshore), chemical manufacturing, oil storage and coal, there is a $5-6 billion economic impact on the regional economy.

• There is an estimated $890 billion to be invested in oil and gas infrastructure nationwide over the next decade.

• In Alabama there are three petroleum refineries processing up to 120,100 barrels of crude oil a day, and another refinery in Pascagoula, Miss., that can process 330,000 barrels a day.

• The majority of petroleum consumed in Alabama is used as transportation fuel (mostly motor gasoline).

• There are 1,807 full time and contract employees working in Mobile’s petroleum storage tank industry, with a payroll of more than $80 million.

• The city sales and property tax collection on this industry is $5.3 million annually. In the county it is $2.4 million; and for the local school system it is more than $500,000.

So what do the numbers tell us? It says the oil and gas industry remains a critical driver for Mobile’s economy. And with much of the petroleum product running through the Port of Mobile, we cannot afford to shut down this industry, and make it difficult for the oil and gas industry to do business here.


Click here to read The Business View – October 2014