Tracking the Economic Growth (Jobs, Housing, Investment & Information)
Due to Shale Play Developments in the Ohio Valley Tri-State Area
THE BOOM HAS BEGUN IN THE OHIO VALLEY AREA
AND THE FUTURE LOOKS VERY PROMISING
New technological developments in exploration and extraction processes regarding shale oil and natural gas have, over the past ten years, energized the oil and gas industries in the United States. Shale oil and natural gas deposits, larger than those found in North Africa, known to be locked in layers of rock thousands of feet below the surface of at least 14 states in the U. S. are now accessible and economically profitable to recover.
In the past few years, the development of shale oil and gas has created economic booms in North Dakota, Texas, Louisiana, Oklahoma, and Colorado; adding hundreds of thousands of jobs and tens of billions of dollars annually in wages and investments in those states. This, in turn, has made oil and natural gas development the fastest growing industry in the United States. It has also reduced America's dependence on foreign oil by 24% in the last two years.
In conjunction with these developments, in the last few years enormous deposits of shale oil and natural gas have been discovered in the Marcellus and Utica Shale plays beneath Ohio, West Virginia, and Pennsylvania. Since then, millions of acres of land have been leased to major energy corporations for oil and gas development and the boom has begun here in the Ohio Valley tri-state area. Billions of dollars have been spent and a number of wells have already been drilled and are producing, but this is just the tip of the iceberg in terms of future activity.
In the next four years, the state of Ohio is projecting an additional 200,000 jobs to be created and $34 billion to be invested as a result of its shale play development. Ohio is now building its infrastructure to support this growing effort. The first of four new water treatment plants, for treating water used in shale play operations, opened last spring in Warren OH, with the other three on the drawing board slated for Ashtabula, East Liverpool, and Steubenville OH. Ohio already as 180 injection wells for the disposal of brine waste water. Major investments are currently underway in rolling and finishing mills for pipe manufacturing (used in drilling), tractor trailer manufacturing, and gas processing plants. Ohio is also ramping up its educational processes to ensure adequately trained employees will be available to meet the growing need.
Pennsylvania, which has been into its Marcellus and Utica Shale play development for the past few years, has already added 214,000 shale related jobs and added more than $10 billion annually to its overall economy. Plans are underway to greatly expand this effort in the next four years with major investments being made in drilling, processing plants, expanding steel mills, propane gas container manufacturing, and gas and oil transportation capabilities (including a major ethane pipeline).
West Virginia has been hard at work attracting major energy companies to its rich Marcellus shale gas deposits. They have secured hundreds of millions of dollars in investments to date. Most recently, it was announced that a major energy corporation with 79,000 acres of West Virginia land under lease and five wells drilled and producing, will invest another $200 million and add an additional 20 wells in 2012. West Virginia is also in major contention for a large "cracker" plant, which produces ethylene from ethane. Ethylene is a basic component of plastics. The "cracker" plant will cost $2 billion to construct and will employ approximately 12,000 workers.
The economic boom is definitely "on" with regard to the Marcellus and Utica Shale play development in the states of Ohio, Pennsylvania, and West Virginia. Two billion dollars has already been spent on leases which goes directly into the pockets of landowners and adds to the states' economies. Hundreds of millions of dollars have already been spent in building and expanding plants involved in the oil and gas industry and much more is planned. Thousands of jobs have been created and hundreds of thousands of jobs will be filled in the next few years. This will infuse billions of dollars into local economies in terms of real estate, construction, retail and wholesale trade, healthcare, etc. The magnitude of the recoverable gas and oil available underscores the fact that the boom that is beginning in the Ohio Valley tri-state area will stay with us for many generations to come.