Economic Impacts

SWN’s operations bring significant direct and indirect economic benefits to communities. Our operations create jobs with higher-than-average wages, we make direct payments to local landowners through mineral leases and royalty payments, and we support government services and schools through property taxes, income taxes, severance fees, road impact fees and other direct payments. While low natural gas prices have changed the pace of our drilling activities in some of our operating areas, we remain committed to making long-term, positive economic contributions in the communities where we operate.

$546 million

paid by SWN in state and local taxes since 20131

$1.78 billion

paid by SWN in royalty and working Interest
payments since 20132

$702 million

paid by SWN in total payroll since 2013

The taxes and fees SWN pays are used to support local schools and pay for community projects, including water and sewer infrastructure, emergency preparedness and public safety, affordable housing and tax reductions.

In West Virginia, for example, approximately 70 percent of the property taxes from our operations go to local schools. A portion of the taxes and fees we pay are used for road projects, which support our operations. In Pennsylvania, for example, a unique impact fee is assessed on unconventional wells; the fees are used to offset the statewide impact of drilling and to fund the Marcellus Legacy Fund, which provides grants to Pennsylvania counties for highway, road and bridge improvements, environmental stewardship, water and storm water systems and emergency response. We also make significant direct contributions to schools, nonprofits and community groups through our charitable giving.

SWN’s operations have also brought indirect economic benefits by stimulating job growth in industries that support natural gas production, as well as in the broader community.

Developing a Local Workforce

Hiring locally is good for our communities and our company. It creates well-paying jobs for residents and ensures employees have a local perspective on community needs and concerns. When we enter a new area, helping to develop a local workforce is a key element of our community engagement efforts. In West Virginia, for example, we’ve been actively recruiting local employees as our operations there expand. In Pennsylvania, SWN personnel work with local workforce development organizations to share insights on workforce and industry needs and support the recruitment of local employees and service providers.

To expand the local pools of qualified candidates, we develop and sponsor programs that generate interest in the oil and gas industry and provide educational opportunities for those who wish to pursue careers in the industry.

Supporting Higher Education in Petroleum Technology

SWN has supported and helped to develop petroleum technology training programs in all of our primary operating areas.

  • In West Virginia, we have donated $250,000 each to Pierpont Community and Technical College and West Virginia Northern Community College to endow scholarships for students in the schools’ petroleum technology degree programs. Nine scholarships have been awarded so far. We also offer a field operators intern program, through which students from the community colleges complete paid, two-month rotations through field jobs during the summer.
  • In Pennsylvania, we support Lackawanna College’s School of Petroleum and Natural Gas, where we have helped develop new courses, worked as guest lecturers and provided real-world field experiences on SWN sites. We also established an annual scholarship fund for two students who graduate from high schools in the area to enroll in the Lackawanna College program. Thus far, we have committed to funding two $10,000 scholarships each year from 2015 to 2021. SWN also provides summer internships for students in the program and has hired multiple program graduates.
  • In Arkansas, we helped to develop and fund petroleum technology education opportunities with the University of Arkansas Community College at Morrilton. Since its initiation in 2006, the program has awarded more than 1,000 degrees and funded more than 640 scholarships totaling nearly $430,000. (See the Data section for consolidated contributions data.)

Supporting STEM Education

SWN also supports science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) education at the middle- and high-school levels, which helps expand students’ opportunities and employability no matter what careers they pursue.

  1. “Taxes” include state income taxes, payroll withholding taxes, severance fees, property taxes, franchise taxes, and sales and use taxes. Sales and use tax amounts included in the tax totals are exclusive of refund and audit payments.
  2. “Royalty payments” include payments made to other working interest owners in the properties.