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Oil and Gas

In 2011, drilling and production began on the Utica Shale formation along the eastern part of Ohio, which is believed to be the section richest in oil and natural gas liquids.

With nearly $12 billion worth of infrastructure built for the state’s natural gas industry since then, according to the state Department of Natural Resources, it is evident that Ohio is quickly becoming one of the nation’s major natural gas and oil producers.

In only two years, the number of jobs in drilling and pipeline construction in Ohio increased nearly 25 percent, from 6,263 in the first quarter of 2011 to 8,192 in the first quarter or 2013, according to the Ohio Department of Job and Family Services. Southeast and Northeast Ohio saw nearly 24 percent and 22.3 increases in pipelining and oil drilling jobs, respectively, in just one year.

And these figures only include core shale-related jobs, not the total amount of jobs impacted by the booming business. Jobs considered "ancillary" to the oil and gas industry - including freight truck drivers and environmental consultants – saw a 5.6 percent increase in Southeast Ohio and 4.2 percent increase in Northeast Ohio from early 2011 to early 2012, according to ODJFS.

While job growth may not be increasing quite as rapidly as early projections predicted, the issue of more than 700 Utica-shale wells since the beginning of 2012 indicates a long-term investment in the region and the opportunity for more job creation in the years to come.

Projects facilitated by M3 Midstream, Access midstream, EV Energy Partners, and Pennant Midstream LLC, a joint venture between NiSource Midstream and Hilcorp Energy Co., have been at the forefront of utilizing the highly-trained and experienced union workforce of the eastern and east-central parts of Ohio.

“Carpenters, pipe fitters, electricians, laborers, operating engineers, cement masons – to some extent all will benefit from the $150 million natural-gas processing plant under construction by Pennant Midstream LLC,” according to a June 2013 article in The Business Journal.

Don Crane, president of the Western Reserve Building and Construction Trades Council, estimates that the oil and gas industry directly engages about one-third of the combined membership of the Council’s 21 local trades unions.

"The growing oil and gas industry holds great economic potential for Ohio,"
said ODJFS Director Michael Colbert in a February 2013 news release on growth of the shale industry. "Ohio is fortunate to have a natural gift with great potential for reinvigorating our economy: huge deposits of shale rock, beneath which sit potentially vast reserves of oil and natural gas."