A recent Washington Post article asked, “Can the shale gas boom save Ohio?” The answer, overwhelmingly, appears to be “yes”!
Chesapeake Energy is looking for truck drivers with licenses for hazardous materials, a purchasing coordinator for oil field equipment, a pipeline technician, a field safety coordinator, administrative assistants, troubleshooting electricians, a tax analyst and more.
“We are very excited about the Utica,” Chesapeake’s chief executive, Aubrey McClendon, said in a Feb. 22 conference call.
Chesapeake has spent $2.2 billion and amassed about 800,000 acres of leases in the rich Utica shale that runs underneath eastern Ohio. It has eight rigs running and plans to install 200 miles of pipeline this year alone.
These efforts will have no small effect in Canton, where the unemployment rate peaked at 12.3 percent in January 2010 and where it was still running at 8.7 percent at the end of last year.
In addition to the employment benefits, a recent study shows economic success that Ohio also stands to gain. Rough estimates by Ohio’s Department of Natural Resources indicate that Ohio has a potential reserve of 3.8 trillion to 15.7 trillion cubic feet of gas and 1.3 billion and 5.5 billion barrels of oil. These resources lead directly to money going back into the pockets of Ohio’s families, businesses and industries.
And the increase in production over recent years has already benefited energy consumers. In 2010, the average residential customer saved $214 in gas bills; the average commercial customer saved $1,366; and the average industrial customer saved almost $87,000.
If Ohio is able to continue to effectively utilize and grow its own resources, they stand to be a true energy powerhouse.