Appalachian Basin

Utica Shale Development Raising Hope in Jefferson County

Jefferson County next to Carroll County (literally and figuratively) has had the eyes of Ohio, as well as the nation, focused on the  opportunities created here by Utica Shale development.  Jefferson County is the 4th highest permitted county in Ohio with 25 Utica permits per Ohio Department of Natural Resources and hosts one of the highest producing wells in the state.

The Brown 10H well in Jefferson County achieved a peak rate of approximately 1,445 barrels of oil equivalent per day, which included 8.7 million mcf of natural gas per day.  But a good well isn’t the only thing Jefferson County needs to be proud of.

In the past year unemployment has dropped from 11.2% to 10.2%.  They have attracted over 11 new companies projected to provide over 500 jobs thanks to shale development. In addition to hotels and restaurants, local companies like M&M True Value Hardware and Voto Manufacturer’s Sales Company are seeing the benefits from increased activity in the Utica Shale.

As the activity level continues to grow, it keeps organizations like Progress Alliance busy trying to encourage companies to locate in Jefferson County.  Thankfully they have a committed staff to help usher these new companies into the area.

But Jefferson County doesn’t want to stop at attracting businesses just by word of mouth.  Recently Progress Alliance just finished a 48-page marketing guide in conjunction with the Community Improvement Corporation to show interested companies why Jefferson County is a great place to live, work and play.

“We’re seeing an influx of new jobs, new wealth, new business and new residents, so the timing of this new marketing guide touting Jefferson County is ideal. I think we have a marketing piece now that speaks to so many positive things in Jefferson County – the educational opportunities we have here, our work force training, success stories from local businesses and health care, testimonials from some of our new companies. It’s all about why Jefferson County is a great place to do business.”- Ed Looman – Executive Director, Progress Alliance

There is also the potential for very promising space that has just opened up due to the recent sale of the now defunct RG Steel property in Steubenville.  The 103 acre parcel at Third and Bates streets sold to Wheeling-based River Rail Development LLC. During the sale, Progress Alliance fielded calls from several shale-related companies interested in leasing the property or portions of the property from Strauss.

And what makes this property so intriguing to those in the Shale supply chain is the location of both river and rail access.  That is a perfect combination to make the property very attractive to businesses looking to find a new home in Ohio.

As you can see Jefferson County is on the up and up, all with a little help from Utica Shale development.  As companies move in, unemployment will continue to decline and more people will look to locate to the anointed burb of the ‘burgh.

Carroll and Jefferson Counties are only the tip of the iceberg when discussing the incredible opportunities that Utica Shale has begun to offer Ohio and Ohioans.  With continued development, we will continue to see the same effect progress from county to county in Eastern Ohio bringing increased revenue for counties and opportunities for their residents and businesses.

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