Houston is more than the “Awl Biness”

by CoyDavidson on September 20, 2012

Energy is King but not the only Big Economic Driver

Houston is internationally recognized as the global energy capital, with virtually every segment of the energy industry represented by over 5,000 firms in the region. It is also known as the global center for integrated power, a fast-growing new sector of the energy industry. In just over a decade, the number of Houston-based energy trading companies has tripled, with petrochemical capacity in the area nearly four times larger than the nearest competing U.S. site. All major oil and gas companies have extensive operations in the area, including ExxonMobil, Chevron, BP America, Citgo, ConocoPhillips, Shell Oil Company, BHP Biliton, TOTAL, BG Group, Devon Energy, LyondellBasell, Halliburton, Occidental Petroleum, Petrobras, Marathon Oil, Anadarko Petroleum, Transocean, Apache, Hess Corporation, Newfield Exploration, Enterprise Products Partners, and Plains All American Pipeline.

Houston’s booming economy is recovering at a pace that is leaving much of the country in the rear view mirror. Houston’s strong economic base continues to be a key factor driving both domestic and international migration trends. Houston ranked 3rd among U.S. MSA’s with the most Fortune 500 headquarters with twenty-five (25) companies on the 2012 list, following New York, with a total of sixty-seven (67) and Chicago, with a total of twenty-nine (29).

Long recognized as the energy capital of the world, with every major energy company represented locally, Houston now stands as a global example of economic diversity. The area is home to a thriving base of industries including medical/biomedical technology, global trade (particularly airborne and waterborne domestic/international cargo), aeronautics, plastics manufacturing, electronics, computers, software design and integrated power.

NASA Johnson Space Center

NASA’s Johnson Space Center (JSC) is a $1.8B complex occupying 1,700 acres, first established in 1961, and later renamed in 1973 in honor of the late President Lyndon B. Johnson, a native Texan. JSC is one of NASA’s largest research and development facilities and mission control for all U.S. manned space flight communications, including the International Space Station and Exploration Programs. In 2011 JSC’s workforce represented over 14,000 jobs, including approximately 3,000 civil servants and 12,000 contractor personnel employed onsite or in facilities in the area. JSC’s top contractors include Boeing, United Space Alliance, Lockheed/Martin, Anadarko Industries, Jacobs Engineering, Honeywell, Bastion Technologies, Science Applications International Corporation (SAIC), Raytheon, Oceaneering Space Systems, and Wylie Laboratories, among many others.

The Port of Houston

The Port of Houston’s market strength and strategic location represents a winning combination for business growth and increased industrial development. The economic impact of the Port of Houston is significant, accounting for $178.5B of total economic activity in Texas, including $56.5B of total personal income, and $4.5B in state and local taxes. Total value of foreign trade through the Port of Houston in 2011 was $242.5B


Houston is a global leader in manufacturing petrochemicals, with the Houston Ship Channel recognized as the largest petrochemical complex in the U.S. The area is home to more than 125 refining and petrochemical manufacturing companies operate the region’s largest petrochemical plants including; Bayport Industrial District, Battleground Industrial Complex, Bayport Shipping Terminal, and the Houston Ship Channel.

The Texas Medical Center

The Texas Medical Center (TMC) – the world’s largest medical center – represents one of Houston’s major economic drivers and core industries with an estimated regional annual economic impact of $14 billion. TMC is also one of Houston’s largest employers with 92,500 employees, including physicians, scientists, researchers and other advanced degree professionals in the life sciences. The internationally-renowned, 1,300-acre TMC is the world’s largest medical complex with 52 member institutions, including leading medical, academic and research institutions, all of which are non-profit and dedicated to the highest standards of research, education and patient and preventive care.

Energy is currently driving much of the leasing and development activity in the Houston commercial real estate markets, but it isn’t the only reason the city is thriving.

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