An oil drilling rig is seen September 29

Any game-changing technological advance benefits some industries and challenges others. Ratings agency Standard & Poor’s has compiled a list of winners and losers from the US shale boom in a report, Game Changer: Industry Winners And Losers From The U.S. Shale Revolution, released yesterday.

Among beneficiaries of the shale boom are the petrochemical industry, which is enjoying lower input costs and higher margins, and environmental service providers, which are cleaning up on cleanup. The agency also identified oil drillers as likely beneficiaries of the boom, but for dry natural gas drillers, the impacts are mixed.

“While the shale energy surge has propelled the output of oil and gas exploration and production companies–as well as business for equipment and service providers–it has not recently translated into better margins, credit metrics, or ratings for many issuers in the sector,” said S&P. “In fact, the opposite has been so in a material number of cases. This has particularly been the case for companies that have been more reliant on natural gas revenues than oil and NGL production.”

Industries even harder hit by the shale boom include producers of energy sources other than oil and gas. Coal mining has been hit the hardest, as cheap gas has displaced some coal use in power generation, with knock-on effects for rail freight, which transports coal from mines to power plants and other end-users.

The shale-driven abundance of cheap gas has also dented the competitiveness of solar and wind power producers, and manufacturers of solar and wind equipment. “Revenues, margins, and credit metrics in these subsectors have suffered, and competition from electric power from natural gas has contributed to some bankruptcies,” said S&P.

Positively Impacted Industries (include, but are not limited to):

  • Oil Exploration & Production
  • Oil Services & Equipment
  • Oil Refining & Marketing
  • Petrochemicals
  • Environmental Service Providers
  • CNG Commercial Vehicle Makers

Mixed Impact Industries:

  • Gas Exploration & Production
  • Gas Equipment & Services
  • Pipelines & Storage

Negatively Impacted Industries:

  • Coal Mines
  • Solar Energy Producers & Equipment Manufacturers
  • Wind Energy Producers & Equipment Manufacturers
  • Freight Railroads
  • Coal & Nuclear Powered Merchant Energy Plants