Appalachian Basin

Utica Shale and the Cleveland Browns Look for Banner Year in 2012

In honor of opening day of the National Football League season, Energy In Depth Ohio would like to recognize Cleveland Browns owner Jimmy Haslam for knowing a smart investment when he sees it.  Mr. Haslam took a chance on the Cleveland Browns earlier this year when he bought the Browns for a rumored $1 billion.  Even though the price tag was large, he knew Ohioans love and have a special devotion for the Browns and his investment would payoff with the right ownership.  Mr. Haslam now stands to be the man who could help the Brown’s return to glory.  I hope this is true because I am tired of being forced to say they will look good in about 3 years.

But its his other investments which could  help Ohio, and its manufacturing base, return to glory by supplying materials integral to the continued development of the Utica Shale.

Shale development has already saved Ohioans billions of dollars in energy savings and is helping Ohio’s manufacturing and steel industry get back on track.  We have had significant investments already made in Ohio thanks to shale development with more investments on the way.  But none of this would be possible if the shale developers didn’t have the fuel they need to get the resources out of the ground.

Since much of the development takes place in rural areas, shale developers rely heavily on diesel to fuel not only their rigs but their trucks, lights, and many other operations.  With such large operations, a couple of gas cans won’t do the trick. The companies need large fuel suppliers to help ensure they have the needed fuel to get the job done.

Mr. Haslam saw this as an opportunity  and bought Western Petroleum, a well known fuel supplier to the industry in February of this year. Now with Mr. Haslam’s most recent purchase of Maxum Petroleum just last month, his diesel supply company will be one of the largest in the United States serving the oil and natural gas industry.

This is not Haslam’s first foray into the distribution of petroleum products.  Mr. Haslam is also the Chief Executive Officer of Flying J.  Flying J, as many travelers know, has close to 500 locations across the United States and is often home to the cheapest gas prices while traveling on the interstate.

Hopefully Mr. Haslam can use his business savvy to reconstruct the Browns into the team I grew up watching.  Honestly I hope they are a little better.  But when a businessman sees a great investment he has to take advantage of the opportunity before him.  Mr. Haslam saw this with the Brown’s and now with the amazing opportunities thanks to shale development.

While Utica Shale development is helping Ohio rise from the economic challenges of recent times, the verdict is still out on the Cleveland Browns ultimate success. While I hope to see them in the playoffs this year, I have said that almost every year since they came back 13 seasons ago.  Ohioans don’t have to hope for the Utica Shale’s success.  After all, its already helping transform eastern Ohio from a once economically depressed area back to the vibrant robust economy that has defined the area for generations.







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