Don sends me a link to Investor Village which suggests just that: the shortage of welders could imperil the shale boom.
How high is demand for welders to work in the shale boom on the U.S. Gulf Coast? So high that “you can take every citizen in the region of Lake Charles between the ages of 5 and 85 and teach them all how to weld and you’re not going to have enough welders,” said Peter Huntsman, chief executive officer of chemical maker Huntsman Corp.
So high that San Jacinto College in Pasadena, Texas, offers a four-hour welding class in the middle of the night. So high that local employers say they’re worried there won’t be adequate supply of workers of all kinds. Just for construction, Gulf Coast oil, gas and chemical companies will have to find 36,000 new qualified workers by 2016, according to Industrial Info Resources Inc. in Sugar Land, Texas.
Regional estimates call for even more new hires once those projects are built. The processing and refining industries need so many workers to build new facilities in Texas andLouisiana because of the unprecedented rise over the last three years in U.S. oil and gas production, much of it due to shale. Labor shortages, causing delays in construction, threaten to slow the boom and push back the date when the country can meet its own energy needs, estimated by BP to be in 2035.Thank goodness we don't have all those welders working on the Keystone XL. Can you imagine the shortage that would cause?