Posts tagged "Hydraulic fracturing"
Energy + Manufacturing = JOBS
Monday, June 17th, 2013 | 0 Comments
As northeastern Ohio begins to recover from the recession, it is the energy and manufacturing sectors that are taking the lead. I am proud to be the co-chair of both the House Manufacturing Caucus and the Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG) Export Working Group. I believe we are on the cusp of a manufacturing renaissance, but we must continue to make strategic investments and foster innovations through public and private relationships. As I write this, Vallourec Star is today celebrating the opening of their new facility in my District. Ten years ago no one would have thought Youngstown, Ohio, would once again have a new steel producing facility – but we proved them wrong.
We have made great strides the past few years with our large manufacturers creating new jobs and many smaller companies joining the supply chain. The Tech Belt—the economic corridor between Cleveland and Pittsburgh—continues to expand with the opening of the National Additive Manufacturing Innovation Institute in downtown Youngstown. But we cannot rest until every person who wants a job has the opportunity to find work. The expansion of the oil and gas industry in northeastern Ohio is a chance to provide that employment—and is a promising development that we cannot afford to miss. Our workers can provide the trucking, construction and other support services needed to take advantage of the state’s abundant gas supply. We can ensure that our energy future is stable—and our workers find good paying jobs.
I also believe that our gas abundance not only provides employment and lowers domestic energy costs, but it provides the opportunity to export natural gas to other nation states. The LNG Export Working Group has been focused on addressing the interests and development of domestic LNG exporting. Despite party affiliations, many of my Congressional colleagues have gathered regularly to work toward a common goal: allowing United States LNG manufacturers the free-market capabilities to export and sell their product. Expanding LNG exports makes too much sense to continue to delay. Economically, the potential in U.S. LNG exports can have an enormous effect not only here locally, but in all corners of our country. That is why I feel so strongly that the Department of Energy should process pending waivers. I understand the various concerns and fears surrounding expanded exports, however I am confident that Department of Energy (DOE) has the tools to maintain integrity in the natural gas market and protect American consumers.
I recently had the opportunity to meet with German Chancellor Angela Merkel as part of a series of business meetings held in Germany, and was able to speak with the Chancellor about Germany purchasing liquefied natural gas (LNG) from the United States. Russia is currently Germany’s largest supplier of natural gas. I believe she is very interested in increasing competition for natural gas and buying it from the US, a strong strategic ally that shares their values. If we play our cards properly, the natural gas boom in our region is an opportunity to both sell this resource abroad and create jobs at home. According to the Center for Liquefied Natural Gas, which cites the U.S. International Trade Administration, every $1 billion in exports could result in more than 5,000 new jobs, many of which would be permanent manufacturing jobs. Therefore, $13 billion to $25 billion worth of LNG exports – the current range of investment possibilities – could mean the creation of between 70,000 and 140,000 new American jobs. We need to do this.
As co-Chair of the bipartisan House Manufacturing Caucus, my colleagues and I will work to strengthen American manufacturing and domestic energy production, and assist US employers in putting Americans back to work. Manufacturing and energy are the foundations of our economy, and it is essential we do all we can to strengthen and protect these vital American industries.
For more information: http://timryan.house.gov/
Vallourec Dedication Signifies Youngstown’s Bright Future
Thursday, June 13th, 2013 | 0 Comments
When Youngstown and the Mahoning Valley’s economic turnaround is mentioned, most think of the resurgence of the steel industry. New steel has been needed, in part, because of the oil and gas industry in Ohio and throughout the country. Shale exploration has helped companies like V&M Star, US Steel, Republic Steel and TMK Steel make a comeback in their industry. Just one small example was on display yesterday as Vallourec Star, previously branded V&M Star, had a dedication ceremony for their new $1 billion plant in Youngstown which was made possible, in large part, thanks to surging demand from shale development.
The plant was first announced in February 2010 to meet the demands for small-diameter pipe used for hydraulic fracturing. Throughout exploration, it can take over 10,000 feet of steel to reach a shale formation. The plant, initially expected to cost $650 million, cost $1 billion and has provided 350 jobs to Ohioans. The company said they picked Youngstown for various reasons, including an already present skilled workforce, a history of manufacturing in the area, and the desire to serve a burgeoning oil and gas industry in Ohio and Pennsylvania.
The pipe mill was completed in September 2011 and in October 2012 began to produce piping for sales to U.S. and Canadian markets. The finishing mill was completed this month and the plant expects to increase production to 350,000 tons by the end of 2013. Vallourec’s 2009 decision to open the plant in Youngstown was unexpected, but proved beneficial to the company. The Youngstown site is considered the hub of their oil and gas service operations and the company is now the top domestic supplier of tube products needed in shale development.
The Ohio plant is not only supplying Ohio’s growing oil and gas industry, but is also supporting the growing industry in Pennsylvania, North Dakota, Texas, and various other states. Tom Humphries, president of the Youngstown/Warren Regional Chamber commented on the wide market and how Ohio is benefitting:
“It’s huge for us. It shows the rest of the world that a major global corporation has a strong interest in investing in the Youngstown-Warren area. It makes a significant statement that this is a good place to do business. This isn’t just serving the Marcellus and Utica shale plays. It’s serving a very wide market area, and that’s important to the Ohio economy.”—Tom Humphries (Vallourec will dedicate new mill today, 6/12/13)
The Vallourec mill has not only provided permanent jobs, but has also provided temporary jobs through construction and electrical work. The project has also anchored the economic revival of the Route 422 corridor, a once flourishing industrial area that had not seen new investment in decades. The Trumbull County Planning Commission, the Youngstown Neighborhood Development Corp. and the Youngstown/Warren Regional Chamber, as well as the cities of Girard and Youngstown, are sharing information and resources to study other potential growth along the corridor.
The hope is that the incredible investment put forward by Vallourec will encourage other global companies to have confidence in the area and invest. State Senator Joe Schiavoni of Boardman, D-33rd, explained how Vallourec has helped the Valley:
“The most important part about [Vallourec] is they’re employing people from the Valley and giving them a chance to live here, spend money here and raise a family. If we can get more [Vallourecs] in the next few years, we’ll be on the right path.”—State Senator Joe Schiavoni (Vallourec will dedicate new mill today, 6/12/13)
Yesterday marked a new period for the Youngstown region. After years of economic stagnation, the city is once again a part of the global economy and showing the importance of Ohio’s shale industry.
Tags: Energy In Depth, Energy in Depth - Ohio, Energy jobs, Hydraulic fracturing, Jobs, Mahoning Valley, Marcellus Shale, natural gas, Ohio, Shale, Steel, Utica Shale, V&M Star, Vallourec Star, Youngstown
Shale Not The Issue In New Republic Article
Monday, June 10th, 2013 | 0 Comments
No matter how you feel about the New Republic magazine, one should feel the author reporting on a news article is somewhat knowledgeable about the subject matter they are discussing. Yet in their most recent article, “The Amish Are Getting Fracked, Their religion prohibits lawsuits—and the energy companies know it”, New Republic mischaracterizes a lease between an Amish farmer and a small independent traditional producer as “big oil” taking advantage of the Amish. This notion couldn’t be farther from the truth.
Kenoil is a local oil and gas producer in Ohio located in Wooster, in the neighboring county of Wayne. As reported in the article, they have dealt with the Amish in that community before and in general both parties have been happy in their dealings. They are a traditional oil and gas producer who would be more than likely developing the Clinton or Rose Run formations. These formations are the bread and butter for the conventional oil and gas industry in Ohio, an industry that has produced 1 billion barrels of oil and 9 trillion cubic feet of natural gas since 1860. This kind of background is essential when talking about leasing prices.
As a traditional operator, they have been in Ohio for many years developing these resources by use of vertical wells. They are not using horizontal technology and are definitely not operating in the Utica Shale/Point Pleasant formation as misreported in the article. This information is vital when discussing lease prices, especially in the far western region of possible Utica Shale development.
Kenoil would have been looking to develop a Clinton or Rose Run well on this farmer’s property, a piece of property that is currently not even in the sights of Utica Shale developers. In 2010, the going rate of leases were not reflective of what they are today in eastern Ohio. In 2010, 10-25 dollars an acre was the going rate for leases depending on the area and the formation they were hoping to develop.
It is true, major developers have come into Ohio over the past 2 years and offered lease prices far higher than in the past. Lease prices created a frenzy in the last few months of 2011 and early 2012, reaching over $5,000 an acre in counties like Harrison, Carroll, Belmont and Noble. Unfortunately, this never really translated into counties west of Guernsey and surely did not reach that level in Holmes. It also does not represent leases that traditional oil and gas operators in the state offer, or could ever offer, and expect to get a proper return on their investment.
Shale developers can offer these leases because they have the equity and technology to develop wells horizontally. Horizontal wells cost upwards of $10 million in the Utica, a price that traditional operators often don’t have the ability to take on at this time. Many shale developers, on the other hand, have this capital and are capable of utilizing horizontal technology to make a profit on these very costly wells. This is happening in eastern Ohio counties like Carroll, Harrison, Noble, Belmont and Guernsey. Again, this type of development is not happening in Holmes or Wayne Counties.
If a neighbor of Mr. Miller did receive money from a company looking to develop the Utica Shale, then they will be waiting a long time for that to happen. In fact, wells that have been developed that far west are not economically viable at this point in time. However there is an opportunity for Clinton and Rose Run wells to be developed by local conventional operators. While a major operator won’t typically develop these wells, a conventional operator, like Kenoil, would and are developing wells like these in Ohio.
So to insinuate that large oil and gas companies are coming into Ohio to intentionally commit fraud on the Amish is just preposterous. The author picked an area of the state where no shale development is taking place and tries to manufacture an issue with a company that is a traditional oil and gas operator. While it makes for an interesting story, it doesn’t represent the truth. Companies developing in Ohio’s Utica Shale are not taking advantage of the Amish, a community that is also prevalent in Carroll County where most of this development takes place.
The Sunday Shale Show: Leonard Stevens, President, Minority Business Associaton
Sunday, June 9th, 2013 | 0 Comments
For The Sunday Shale Show this week, Energy In Depth sat down with Mr. Leonard Stevens, President of the Minority Business Association. Located in Stark County, the MBA provides workshops, membership directory and a revolving loan fund to help start-up businesses.
“You have to think outside of the box” – Leonard Stevens, President, Minority Business Association (4:05)
As Mr. Stevens acknowledged, there is great potential in the future development of our state’s shale deposits, and its potential is recognized worldwide, with more and more interest and investment coming in to the Buckeye State.
For this reason, the Minority Business Association and other organizations (like Energy In Depth) have placed a priority on educating the public about the industry, its practices, and the incredible benefits this continued development will bring for Ohio’s workforce and its communities.
Energy In Depth thanks Mr. Stevens for his efforts, and for joining us on The Sunday Shale Show. We look forward to continuing to work with those working directly or indirectly with the oil and gas industry to provide in-depth analysis of what’s taking place in Ohio (and beyond), and what it means for our communities and our state.
Stay tuned for The Sunday Shale Show next week!
Minority Business Association Connects With Shale Industry
Friday, June 7th, 2013 | 0 Comments
This week in the heart of Ohio’s Utica Shale play some folks from the oil and gas industry held a joint event with the Minority Business Association in Stark County (aka the Utica Capital). The purpose was to discuss connecting the growing natural gas industry with the strong and diverse minority-owned businesses of Stark County. The idea for this meeting came from a meeting between API and the Stark County Oil and Gas Partnership. The idea being the oil and gas industry continuing to reach out and make connections in local communities all around Ohio. Connecting with the MBA is a great example of that effort.
The day began with welcoming remarks from Canton’s own Ron Ponder, who is well-known in the community due to his long-standing popular radio show.
“There is a lot of information but not just information but a lot of opportunity” – Ron Ponder (0:11)
After Mr. Ponder’s opening comments, Rhonda Reda, Executive Director of the Ohio Oil and Gas Energy Education Program, took the stage to provide what she calls an “Oil and Gas 101,” covering topics like terminology, technology and the history of Ohio’s industry. Rhonda always grabs and holds everyone’s attention due to her wealth of knowledge and engaging personality. She also has the amazing ability to break down a complex, science-based topic to help the general public get a better understanding and working knowledge of the industry.
Following Rhonda, Energy In Depth stepped up to the microphone to explain the supply chain. The first step in finding a niche for your company in the supply chain is understanding how various elements work together. EID mapped out the supply chain from exploration companies like BP and Chesapeake to oilfield services companies like Halliburton and Weatherford — all the way down to well pad servicing companies, which is where most local small businesses can find room in the supply chain. Services like excavating, water hauling, landscaping, safety clothing, fuel, tools and other hardware are all places where local businesses can and indeed do benefit.
Next to the podium was Rebecca Heimlich of API and Penny Seipel of OOGA. These presenters discussed the purpose and scope of their respective organizations, as well as the importance of networking opportunities for their members.
Mike Battles of Woolpert and Ron Wilkof of Ron’s Working Man also took the opportunity relay their personal stories about navigating the supply chain in order to become vendors and contractors with the oil and gas industry.
The presenters helped the audience understand the importance of networking and understanding the supply chain, and gave real life scenarios of getting involved in the industry in the process. As development continues, more Ohio based companies are going to be needed to fill the increasing workload of these operators, but companies need to understand how and where they fit into industry. That is why this outreach is so important.
Companies will need to learn the oil and gas business to see how their business fits in the supply chain. With patience and perseverance, those looking to grow their businesses and get involved with the industry will have great success.
GE Uses Their Imagination For Shale Development
Wednesday, May 29th, 2013 | 0 Comments
When one thinks of the company General Electric (GE), they think of innovation. It seems fitting, then, that GE is increasing its role within one of the most innovative industries in the world: oil and gas. In recent months GE’s oil and gas division has been making acquisitions and announcements to show they are committed to helping drive technological innovation in the oil and gas industry for many years to come.
Shale development has been described as a game changer for many years now. The rapid development and improvement of technology being used has continuously provided operators with greater production numbers, all while increasing efficiency in the materials needed to develop each well. GE recognized a potential for future innovation a few years back and decided, with the expertise they have, that servicing the oil and gas industry would be a proper fit for their future. Since that time, GE has invested over $15 billion in their oil and gas division.
“This is a robust, dynamic industry that’s growing and ripe for technology infusion, and we think we can add a lot to it.” –GE Chief Technology Officer Mark Little (GE Pushes Fracking Research With Lab in Bet on Shale Gas, 4/3/13)
Just recently, GE announced a plan to build a $110-million research facility in Oklahoma City to study horizontal drilling and hydraulic fracturing. The facility will employ 125 engineers and scientists to study how best to extract oil and gas from shale formations:
“I think the important productivity driver of this era is shale gas. We have a big role to play in a big energy transformation.” — GE CEO Jeff Immelt (GE’s Jeff Immelt on leadership, global risk and growth, 5/17/13)
In addition to the research facility, GE has also made a few additional announcements in May showing their commitment to the oil and gas industry.
At the 2013 Offshore Technology Conference, GE unveiled their Modular Frac Manifold, which is a skid mounted manifold that allows simultaneous hydraulic fracturing operations on multiple well pads. Each unit consists of a customized array of actuated valves, blocks and frac head outlets and is engineered to safely isolate each well during stimulation. This efficiency will decrease time to hydraulically fracture a well, while helping to reduce well costs for producers.
Also in May, GE won approval from the Federal Trade Commission to purchase Lufkin Industries for $2.98 billion. Lufkin makes artificial lifts for the oil and gas industry to help increase recovery from depleted oil and gas wells. The approval by the Federal Trade Commission helps boost GE’s presence in the oil and industry with another avenue to provide services for the industry.
Oil and gas is quickly becoming an important part of GE’s portfolio. In fact, oil and gas represents GE’s fastest growing segment with a 57 percent increase in revenue since 2009. Thus, it’s easy to see why GE is so bullish on oil and gas development. Currently, GE’s wide portfolio of products for the shale development encompasses nearly 40 technologies from across separate GE business units.
“Unconventional gas and oil production is a rapidly expanding global industry and is a strategic imperative for GE Oil & Gas.” — Ian Milne, President of GE Oil & Gas’s Pressure Control Business (Modular Frac Manifold aids shale gas field operators, 5/16/13)
Of course, GE is no doubt hoping that increased production of natural gas will help boost their aviation natural gas turbine business, which is located in Cincinnati, Ohio. In recent years, GE has taken their knowledge of building jet engines and transformed the division into making some of the most advanced gas turbines with “aeroderivative” jet engine technology for use in natural gas utilities.
These turbines are being used in Ohio and across the United States as the country uses more natural gas for power generation. Thanks to the increased use of natural gas in electric utilities, U.S. carbon emissions have dropped to a 20-year low, something the environmental community should be very happy to know.
In the coming years, it will be fascinating to see what kind of innovation GE will provide to increased productivity to the nation’s already prolific conventional and unconventional oil and gas industry. While providing expertise from the pad site to the natural gas turbines, GE will keep their imagination at work for a brighter future.
Ohio State Medical Association Debunks Public Comments About Disclosure
Monday, May 20th, 2013 | 0 Comments
One of the most pervasive claims made about shale development has to do with disclosure — namely, that the industry is withholding information from medical professionals about additives used during hydraulic fracturing. This has been advanced by the likes of Ohio Citizens Action, a vocal anti-development group, as well as a handful of other individuals that are actively trying to confuse the public about this issue.
More specifically, these folks claim that doctors do not have adequate access to the information needed to evaluate and treat patients if an accident were to happen on or near a well pad site. Their goal, of course, is to spread fear, doubt, and misinformation about something very technical and vast in its scope. In this case they count on the fact that few in the general public have read, in its entirety, the 175-page document known as Senate Bill 315 that covers topics like chemical disclosure.
Against that backdrop, it’s worth noting what the leadership of The Ohio State Medical Association recently did: they sent a letter to the members of the Ohio General Assembly saying, essentially, that such claims are garbage.
Senate Bill 315, which was passed in 2012, clearly spells out that first responders and other medical professionals have total access to additives used during the hydraulic fracturing process. In fact, Ohio has always been a full disclosure state, through the fracturing ticket and fracturing chart associated with each individual producing oil and gas well in Ohio. Senate Bill 315 expanded the disclosure requirements. Additionally, the industry is using FracFocus to share with anyone interested what chemicals are used to produce natural gas in our state, as well as the other 33 producing states in the country.
The letter from OSMA, which represents over 20,000 Ohio physicians, residents, medical students, and practice managers, explained that they are well aware of the fact that, as doctors and medical professionals, they have full access to a list of additives used during the hydraulic fracturing process.
The following Ohio State Medical Association letter has been reprinted in its entirety:
April 18, 2013
The Honorable Keith Faber
Columbus, OH 43215
Dear President Faber:
I am writing to clarify a statement issued by Ohio Citizen Action on Wednesday, April 17, which purports to capture the Ohio State Medical Association’s position on hydraulic fracturing, or fracking, chemicals and the medical profession’s right-to-know.
It is true that on Saturday, April 6 during a business session at our Annual Meeting in Columbus that our members considered Resolution No. 41-13 which called for certain requirements and stipulations for fracking chemicals that extend beyond current state law.
However, by a unanimous voice vote, our members ultimately approved only this five-line passage from the 70-line resolution (not including footnotes):
Resolved, That the Ohio State Medical Association advocate for provisions in Ohio state law that would allow doctors, first responders, emergency agencies, and the Local Emergency Planning Commission in each county to obtain the needed information on all chemicals located at an oil or gas exploration well pad, including hydraulic fracturing.
We believe the portion of the Resolution that was supported by our House of Delegates on April 6 is in line with Senate Bill 315 (specifically Sec. 1509.10), the measure pertaining to medical professionals gaining access to chemical compositions used during fracking operations to assist in the diagnosis and treatment of patients who may have been exposed to such chemicals. We believe this existing law affords a physician the right-to-know in a confidential manner when necessary what fracking chemicals are present.
The remainder of the OSMA Resolution requiring fracking companies to report all chemicals — including trade secret chemicals — to the Local Emergency Planning Commission (LEPC), allowing physicians and other medical professionals access to this LEPC information and fining companies for not properly reporting chemicals were referred to the OSMA Council for further consideration. These provisions were not voted on during the Annual Meeting and these provisions are not currently part of any OSMA stipulations, guidelines or expectations beyond what is already required by state law.
The OSMA Council could address the remainder of this Resolution at a later date. At this point, this issue is not a high-priority matter for the OSMA and that is not expected to change unless directed by the Council. The OSMA’s highest immediate legislative priorities remain the state budget, Medicaid expansion, health insurer accountability and medical liability reforms.
If I can provide any further clarification, please do not hesitate to contact me.
Tim Maglione, JD
Senior Director, Government Relations
The Ohio State Medical Association jumped into the conversation about hydraulic fracturing because, as medical professionals, they know how important it is that the facts and science are presented. A person is certainly entitled to his or her personal opinion, but not to his or her own facts.
Ohio’s Production Numbers Don’t Tell All
Friday, May 17th, 2013 | 0 Comments
After at least an extra month of guarded anticipation, the Ohio Department of Natural Resources (DNR) finally released oil and gas production data on 86 wells producing from the Utica shale during 2012. Oddly enough, an article from Reuters appearing in Friday’s papers dismisses the Utica play as a bust. To quote the article written by Edward McAllister and Sabina Zawadzki:
“U.S. hopes for a new shale oil bonanza in Ohio, joining the prolific Bakken and Eagle Ford plays that have raised production to 20-year highs, were shattered on Thursday by the first hard evidence that the Utica formation was primarily gas-prone.
“Now, data from Ohio’s Department of Natural Resources (DNR) showed that in 2012, the first full year of drilling, oil output amounted to only 636,000 barrels — about enough to fill a single small crude oil tanker. On average for the full year, output came to a mere 1,742 barrels a day (bpd) versus 780,000 bpd in North Dakota, where much of Bakken lies.”
The numbers reported to the DNR and discussed in the Reuters account would indicate that the 86 wells now producing are averaging approximately 20 barrels of oil per day. It’s hard to argue with statistics, but it’s also important to understand that on the surface, these particular ones are very misleading.
For example, Chesapeake Energy reported production on 53 wells that averaged 77 BOPD and 2097 Mcfd. The gas production rates are certainly substantial, even with only three wells being online for more than 300 days, but the oil production rates appear less than impressive. However, no mention is made of natural gas liquids (NGLs) that are being recovered from the gas. In fact, considerable NGLs are being recovered from the gas stream and are not reported as oil production to the state. Similarly, nothing is mentioned as to how the wells are being produced. Notably, due to limited pipeline capacity (a condition that is only temporary, given massive buildouts already underway), many of these wells are being “choked back” until the product can actually be sent somewhere.
In fact, nearly $10 billion is being invested in Ohio’s midstream infrastructure to help bring the gas and entrained NGLs from these wells to market. How will this impact the production from these same 86 wells going forward? No one knows for sure. But it’s safe to say that the numbers will look better when this infrastructure is in place.
In the end, the raw production numbers reported to the state represent only a snapshot of what the industry is actually doing — and, more importantly, what it’s capable of doing. No, the oil numbers are not as good as other, more mature plays, like the Eagle Ford in Texas. But the real question is, are the wells economic? Can a company invest $5-9 million to drill and complete a well in the Utica shale and make a profit on its investment? The most important numbers to a company are net present value and payout time — neither of which are reported to the State.
The Reuters report also compares the Bakken’s current production numbers to the Utica’s first year. This is hardly a fair comparison. I don’t know what the Bakken produced in its first year, but I can assure you it wasn’t 780,000 barrels of oil per day. Heck, back in the mid-1990s, the U.S. Geological Survey thought the Bakken only held about 151 million barrels of oil, a number they later had to upwardly revised by nearly 25-fold in 2008 after development began to take off. The article does not state how many wells are responsible for that production either.
Personally, I like to compare apples to apples — not apples to airplanes.
I’m not throwing in the towel on Ohio production, and we know the companies operating here in Ohio aren’t either. In fact, I’m celebrating the fact that the number of permits taken out at the DNR is steadily rising along with infrastructure development and production — which is great news for our economic future in this part of the country.
OOGEEP Trains 1,000 Firefighters for Oil & Gas Industry
Wednesday, May 15th, 2013 | 0 Comments
The Ohio Oil and Gas Energy Education Program (OOGEEP) firefighter training program reached a milestone recently when it trained its 1,000th firefighter to respond to an oilfield emergency. Since 2000, firefighters from seven states have participated in the one-of-a-kind program which is funded entirely by revenues from Ohio’s oil and gas producers.
The training provides background information and practical guidelines to assist responders in communicating and evaluating a potential emergency site, and the capability to respond an unforeseen emergency. OOGEEP even provide hands-on training including “live burns” utilizing crude oil and natural gas props. One of the instructors for the program, Brent Gates, a Fire Chief and Ohio Certified Fire Instructor from New Concord, Ohio, explained the importance of hands-on training:
“This is by far one of the best training programs I have been involved in. The information and hands-on training we provide makes a difference to so many communities who are impacted by the development of oil and gas.”—Brent Gates
OOGEEP developed the training to prepare communities for possible emergencies and they believe the 13 year old program is part of the reason the state has a strong safety record in oil and natural gas production. OOGEEP’s executive director, Rhonda Reda, commented on the program’s success and how it could serve as a model for other states:
“Ohio citizens should be honored that many other energy producing regions have looked to Ohio as a model to set up similar safety programs in their respective states.”—Rhonda Reda
The training is endorsed by the Ohio Fire Chief’s Association, the Ohio Society of Fire Service Instructors and the Ohio Fire and Emergency Services Foundation. The program provides each firefighter the opportunity to receive up to 12 CEU credit hours and an optional college graduate credit through Hocking College upon completion.
Charlie Dixon, lead fire instructor and OOGEEP’s safety and workforce administrator, explained how the program can benefit individual communities:
“Ohio has always been a leader in developing safety programs. While there have been very few natural gas and crude oil emergencies in Ohio, often times fire departments are often called to respond to non-emergency incidents simply because there is a lack of knowledge or unfamiliarity of equipment, standard practices, and advanced technologies used by Ohio’s industry. The fact is not all incidents reported are emergencies, and we are hopeful that this program will mitigate those types of reported incidents that could tie up community resources that may be needed elsewhere.”—Charlie Dixon
As Ohio’s oil and natural gas production increases its comforting knowing that innovative OOGEEP has already trained over 1,000 firefighters on how to handle unforeseen emergencies if they occur. While incidents in Ohio’s oil and gas fields are rare, it’s comforting knowing that if an event occurs that the most courageous among us are armed with the best strategies and approaches in tackling this situation.
V&M Anchors Economic Revival of Route 422
Monday, May 13th, 2013 | 0 Comments
Call it the comeback of the century. Thanks in large part to Utica shale development, the blue-collar, hard-working, never-say-die Youngstown is making steel again. Folks have heard this over the last two years, but what some might not know is that while the $1.1 billion V&M Star plant is huge, the facility could actually be the anchor for the rebirth and growth of what is being called the Route 422 ”Economic Gateway.”
According to this morning’s Youngstown Vindicator, there are several agencies serving the local area that are combining efforts and resources to revitalize this industrial corridor. They are the Trumbull County Planning Commission, the Youngstown Neighborhood Development Corp. and the Youngstown/Warren Regional Chamber, as well as the cities of Girard and Youngstown. They are sharing information and resources to study the potential growth along U.S. Route 422.
“We want to create an economic gateway off Interstate 80 that will compliment V&M, we want to see other capital investments and other capital businesses.” –Tom Humphries, Youngstown/Warren Regional Chamber (Study hopes to highlight growth potential along U.S. Route 422, 5/13/13)
The goal is a comprehensive redevelopment plan, which includes an economic research study focused along Route 422. More specifically, the study would assess how a largely industrial landscape adjacent to distressed neighborhoods with vacant lots, blighted housing and high rates of poverty could once again become a vibrant, business-friendly gateway for new and expanding businesses. While some projects have already helped spur new economic growth in the region, such as road widening and bridge improvements, there is much more to do — including taking stock of what land parcels are along the roadway, who owns them and what if anything are they being used for.
Beyond the study, roadway improvements, and new steel mills, it is also sending a strong and clear message about being business friendly. That’s why it was so important that the ill-advised charter amendment be defeated, sending the message that Youngstown is open for business.
But this is more than just raw economic growth and all of the jobs that come along with those types of investments. It’s a revival of home town pride. It’s a perfect encapsulation of this “knocked down but not out” kind of town. Youngstown, Girard, Warren and other towns did not get where they are overnight, but rather over time and through hard work.
Ohio’s oil and gas industry has a role to play in this rebirth, too — a big one, in fact. And again, it’s not just about bringing new jobs to the region, although that’s certainly happened. It’s also about being a good neighbor. For example, BP — which is about to explore its first 10 wells in the area — recently donated food to two Warren food kitchens and gave $50,000 to the STEM programs in Trumbull County. That’s why such a diverse coalition of groups has embraced responsible shale development in Ohio, and it’s why support for shale development exceeds opposition in Ohio by an astounding 2-1 margin.
Stay tuned for the release and analysis of the economic study of Route 422.