Appalachian Basin

Muskingum Co. Ready to Get Rolling on Utica

I had the pleasure Thursday to meet with Muskingum County commissioners Jim Porter, Jerry Levy and Steve Strauss to discuss issues related to shale exploration in eastern Ohio. As you’d imagine, folks out here have lots of important questions when it comes to the safe and responsible development of these resources for the area. One of the most important: When do we start?!

Of course, it’s easy to understand why everyone’s so excited. The Ohio Oil and Gas Energy Education Program’s (OOGEEP) recent economic study finds that Muskingum and its neigboring counties are poised to benefit greatly from the development of Utica . With $246 million on new exploration and development in 2011 and estimated $14 billion by 2015, reinvestment in these communities is not a question of if — but when. Even though increased revenue is important to local communities, it also brings plenty of good-paying employment. It is estimated that shale exploration will bring over 200,000 jobs  to Ohio by 2015.

Zanesville, the county seat of Muskingum County, is uniquely positioned to take on the new development needed to supply the oil and gas industry. It boasts three business parks ready for the manufacturing business. While we are excited for new growth in our region, it is the counties and their local chambers who are really anticipating the shot in the arm they need during these hard economic times.

It’s worth mentioning these local counties and chambers and how they’re getting ready for new jobs and revenue to come in, but of course, they are not the only ones. I was thrilled to see the local TV news crew attend our meeting last week. These new opportunities have everyone anxiously waiting for more prosperous times.  Please check WHIZ TV’s coverage on our meeting with the Muskingum County Commissioners. Questions About Shale Answered

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