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McDonnell welcomes offshore Va. energy report

Friday - 12/6/2013, 3:59am  ET

RICHMOND, Va. (AP) -- An industry-sponsored study concludes the development of oil and gas reserves off Virginia's coast would create thousands of jobs and grow the economy.

Gov. Bob McDonnell welcomed the findings of the study, jointly produced by the American Petroleum Institute and the National Ocean Industries Association.

The study released Thursday projected the offshore energy development would create about 5,000 jobs by 2025 and nearly five times that number a decade later. The state's economy would also grow by about $2.2 billion annually by 2035.

McDonnell has been an outspoken advocate of tapping oil and gas off the coast, but the Obama administration put those ocean reserves off limits following the Deepwater Horizon disaster in the Gulf of Mexico.

Before that, the government was expected to open those waters to exploration.

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