Local Government Financial Impact of Oil/Gas Development

Since the mid-2000s, technological advances have led to a dramatic increase in natural gas and oil production from shale formations in the United States. With this increased production comes new revenue – and new costs – for local and state governments.

The Shale Public Finance project seeks to identify the key public finance issues facing local governments that are dealing with the shale boom. Led by Energy Initiative Director Richard G. Newell and Associate in Research Daniel Raimi, and with the support of the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation, the project has produced reports on new revenue and costs, and on revenue allocations. The research continues and more reports are planned.

Summaries of our findings to date can be found in the interactive map below.

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Local government revenues and costs associated with oil and gas production

May 2014

This report reviews the major revenues, costs and net fiscal impact for county and municipal governments in eight states where large increases in oil and/or gas production have recently occurred.

Download an issue brief (.pdf)
Download the summary report (.pdf)
Download the full report (.pdf)

Oil and gas revenue allocation for local governments in eight states

October 2014

This report provides detailed analysis of how revenue from the oil and gas sector flows to local governments in Arkansas, Colorado, Louisiana, Montana, North Dakota, Pennsylvania, Texas and Wyoming.

Download an issue brief (.pdf)
Download the summary report (.pdf)
Download the full report (.pdf)

Project team members traveled to key shale gas and oil production regions around the United States to investigate firsthand the impact on local government finance. We initially traveled to “plays” including the Bakken in North Dakota and Montana, the Eagle Ford and Barnett in Texas, and the Haynesville in Louisiana. Our most recent research took us to the rest of the major U.S. oil- and gas-producing regions.

Read about these trips on our travel blog.

More about the Shale Public Finance project:


More than a dozen experts and local officials came to Duke University in the spring of 2014 to discuss how they handled or are still managing key fiscal issues raised by shale oil and gas development. They were joined by experts on energy policy, economics, and law from across the United States, Duke University and North Carolina to discuss the roles local government, state policy-makers and industry play in helping communities manage shale development’s fiscal implications.

2014 Workshop Presentations:

About 20 experts on local government issues related to oil and gas development convened at the Energy Initiative in late August 2015 for a workshop that focused on fiscal effects for local governments in the eight states examined in Phase II of the Shale Public Finance project. Along with local government officials from these states (Alaska, California, Kansas, New Mexico, Ohio, Oklahoma, Utah, and West Virginia), the workshop featured experts from independent research organizations, state and federal government, and oil and gas companies. At the workshop, experts provided feedback to Duke University researchers on their preliminary findings, discussed issues related to tax policy and long-term economic health for resource-dependent communities, and shared experiences from a range of regions affected by the oil and gas development in the shale era. 

2015 Workshop Presentations:


Mailing Address

Duke University Energy Initiative
Box 90467
Durham, NC 27708

Street / Delivery Address

Duke University Energy Initiative
140 Science Drive
Gross Hall, Suite 101
Durham, NC 27708

Location: Room 230E, Gross Hall
Time: 4:30 pm
Location: The Edge Workshop Room (Bostock 127)
Time: 1:00 pm to 2:30 pm
Location: TBA
Time: 12:00 pm to 1:30 pm
  • Associate in Research

    Daniel focuses on tax policy for oil and gas development, and policies related to shale development and climate.