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How the U.S. oil boom echoes through the economy

A BP oil refinery in California.
A BP oil refinery in California. Photo: David McNew/Getty Images

A new Dallas Fed note explores a metric of what the shale-driven U.S. production surge has meant for the wider economy.

What they found: "The share of the upstream oil and gas sector in the level of U.S. nonresidential fixed investment doubled from 3.4 percent in the decade before the shale oil boom to an average of 6.4 percent since 2008."

But, but, but: That can cut both ways, because investment levels are sensitive to oil price movements.

  • "While contributing positively to investment growth most of the time, upstream oil and gas became a drag from roughly 2014 to 2016 when oil prices fell about 50 percent," the report states.

Go deeper: BP CEO: "Remarkable" that prices stabilized so fast after Saudi oil attack