September 26, 2014

Whose Business Is Booming On The Side?

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Walkie Talkie designed by Proletkult Graphik from the Noun Project.

Walkie Talkie designed by Proletkult Graphik from the Noun Project.

Inside Energy is looking forward to a new series of stories later this fall investigating the unexpected, unanticipated “sideline booms” that follow in the wake of increased oil and gas production.

In our three states – Colorado, Wyoming, and North Dakota – the oil and gas boom is transforming economies from housing to service industries to road construction.  The American Petroleum Institute, an industry trade group, commissioned PricewaterhouseCoopers to do some baseline research on the issue. In a transparent effort to prove the economic benefits of oil and gas production, API recently published a vendor survey which listed state by state – and congressional district by congressional district(!) –  some 30,000 businesses that provided support services to the oil and gas industry across the country.

In Colorado, for instance, the survey said oil and gas provided $25.8 billion to the local economy and supported 213,100 jobs.  Thousands (yes, thousands) of businesses are listed, most directly related to the industry. Some are tangentially related – take Sunny Communications in Denver, for instance, who rent and sell two-way radio equipment, or Paleoresearch Institute, who does archeological testing. But many others are not clearly related. The list includes a dairy farm, Adj Cattle, LLC, and Miller Family Farm, LLC.

North Dakota’s survey claims that state reaps $6.6 billion in revenue and enjoys 64,000 jobs.  Vendors “by congressional district” are clustered in the western part of the state, naturally, and include companies like Dakota Outerwear and various individuals – like Alan J. Bergstrom, or Dongmei Wang – who have some kind of business relationship with the industry.

In Wyoming, the state survey lists $13 billion contributed to the state economy and 80,000 jobs supported by oil and natural gas.  A vendor profile provided by API lists Big Horn Environmental Consultants who “works with all the energy development stakeholders,” to develop plans to comply with state and federal wildlife regulations.

Today’s San Antonio Business Journal reports on a boom in “manufactured housing,” those rectangular modular homes that you might see popping up not just in Texas, but all across the prairies and Colorado’s Front Range.

We want to dig down and find more of the unexpected businesses that are profiting on the side, and will be covering this topic in the coming months.

What’s Next:

  • If you know of a business that’s profiting from the boom, and would like us to know about it, contact us at, on Twitter, or on Facebook.