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Monday, July 22, 2013

Locals Try to Make Most of Shale Boom While Still Being Prepared for It To Go Bust

From Oil & Gas Journal:
"The issue of Ohio's current shale boom is like two sides of a coin," said Glenn Enslin, former director of Economic Development for Carroll County. "Everyone is aware of the political side."
Carroll and Harrison counties are the epicenter of Ohio's Utica shale play. "We've seen a huge boom there," Enslin said. According to Enslin, property that would have languished on the market for months has recently been selling in record time. In one case, a property listed for $899,000 sold in 2 days.
Northeast Ohio is the epicenter of the state's Utica shale activity. This Chesapeake-operated rig is drilling one of 269 wells the company has planned in the Utica. According to a company spokesman, 66 of these are completed and flowing to sale as of the first quarter 2013. Photo by Chesapeake Energy Corportaion
Northeast Ohio is the epicenter of the state's Utica shale activity. This Chesapeake-operated rig is drilling one of 269 wells the company has planned in the Utica. According to a company spokesman, 66 of these are completed and flowing to sale as of the first quarter 2013. Photo by Chesapeake Energy Corportaion
The county has seen 20 to 25 companies show up in the last year. One local hardware store has doubled in size to meet local demand. "My regular gas station went from two employees to seven to deal with the drastic increase in traffic," Enslin said. "Exponential growth in the region is one side of the coin, with the other side being the bust that often follows."
Ohio is no stranger to the boom and bust cycles inherent to natural resource developments. "The timber industry came here 150 years ago, and they took the trees and the money and left leaving denuded hillsides, polluted streams, and thousands of people without jobs," Enslin said. He cited the coal industry as having a similar effect on the state. Not unlike most of the participants in the conference, Enslin urged local communities to think about taking a different approach. "There has to be a way to turn this boom into sustainable developments that will last," Enslin said.
Read the entire article here.

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