Almost 190,000 jobs could be created by 2013 if offshore drilling returns to pre-spill levels, according to a study sponsored by two oil trade groups, the National Ocean Industries Association (NOIA) and the American Petroleum Institute (API).

The study, conducted by Quest Offshore Inc., found that if permits for exploration and drilling returned to historic levels, and if backlogged requests were granted, 400,000 jobs could be supported across the United States with a GDP increase of $45 billion by 2013.

“The president says he wants ideas for putting Americans back to work right now,” said Jack Gerard, API president, during a conference call today. “So we urge him, again, to take a look at policies that will encourage oil, and domestic gas development.”

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