2017 is off to a truly amazing start when it comes to shale-related news for the Buckeye State. Week after week we are hearing positive news about investment and job creation coming to the state — and it’s all thanks to fracking. From pipeline projects, natural gas-fired power plants and drilling programs signaling a return to exploration and production, it’s “all good,” as Ohio Congressman Tim Ryan recently said.
This week was no exception, as the Youngstown Business Journal reported steel manufacturing is coming back online. In an interview with EID, newly elected state Sen. Sean O’Brien (D) — whose district is an area of Ohio that has been heavily impacted by the ancillary industries that support oil and gas development — credited shale development for the investment coming to his district and emphasized that 2017 is off to a “great” start when it comes to the industry driving economic growth in the state,
“We’re starting to see significant economic change in the valley due largely to oil and gas development here in Ohio." Sen. OBrien said in an interview. “This is a positive sign for the entire region. There’s no question energy development in Ohio is off to a great start this year. For my district, the state of Ohio and the country, the return of natural gas exploration and the ancillary industries that support it are critical to bringing back middle-class jobs. This week alone, we have the announcement of return to work and new hiring’s at Vallourec; in Lordstown, the announcement of the construction of a second gas fired power plant. These two projects will create hundreds of good paying jobs, billions of dollars in investments and will have a huge impact on the area. Both of these projects are a direct result from what is happening with the oil and gas here in Ohio. So from an economic and energy standpoint, 2017 is looking very promising”
It has been confirmed that an Ohio steel manufacturing company has announced that it is indeed hiring, and it’s full steam ahead as they look to fill orders created by the demand for steel pipe used by the oil and gas industry. All eyes are on Vallourec Star, as the company has announced its plans to ramp up production of steel pipe used in oil and gas exploration.
A company spokesperson, Jean Gaetano told the Youngstown Business Journal,
“We’ve seen signs of improvement in the U.S. oil and gas market where the rig count and OCTG [oil country tubular goods] demand have increased for the first time since the end of 2014. The increased demand has resulted in increased production volumes at all Vallourec Star locations. This progressive market recovery is anticipated for 2017.”
Ohio’s current rig count stands at 20, which is a vast improvement over the lows of last year, signaling a slow recovery in oil and natural gas drilling in the Utica Shale. The news today also reinforces statements that were recently made at a bipartisan event touting the manufacturing and energy infrastructure associated with the oil and gas industry. The news also underscores the extensive economic impact horizontal drilling and hydraulic fracturing has on a community. In this case, thanks to improvement in rig counts, Vallourec Star is ramping up production to create the steel pipe used as part of the process. To bring gas and oil to market we also need energy infrastructure.
Bipartisan support for oil and gas development is also evident in a recent poll conducted by the National Association of Manufacturers (NAM) that found 84 percent of Buckeye State residents — a mix of Democrats and Republicans — said they would like to see U.S. energy development increase. Eighty-six percent of those surveyed said they support construction of more pipelines, natural gas compressor stations and power plants.