Appalachian Basin

YOUNG Series Focuses on Supply Chain Opportunities for Ohio Businesses

EID-Ohio ventured to Boardman on Wednesday for the Youngstown/Warren Regional Chamber of Commerce’s Shale Supply Chain Seminar.  The event was part of the Youngstown Ohio Utica & Natural Gas  (YOUNG) series done in partnership with the Ohio Shale Coalition.  The seminar invited companies to learn how to take advantage of the growing needs of the oil and natural gas supply chain and the incredible opportunities coming to Ohio thanks to Utica Shale  development.

Linda Woggon, Executive Vice President of the Ohio Chamber of Commerce  and Executive Director of the Ohio Shale Coalition(OSC), said part of the OSC’s mission is to “fully maximize the potential of this shale play for Ohioans and Ohio businesses”.

To gauge the upcoming opportunities, OSC sponsored an economic study conducted by a broad cross-section of academic researchers from Ohio State University, Marietta College, and Cleveland State University.  The study used interviews and development patterns from other shale plays to estimate the opportunities coming to the Buckeye State.  The results showed shale development will support 65,680 jobs with an average salary above $50,000 and an additional $3.3 billion in labor income by 2014.  Woggon wants companies in the area to be a part of this economic revitalization.

We got a chance to chat with Woggon about the preparations Ohioans should make for this development:

The Youngstown region and all of eastern Ohio is where we’re seeing a lot of the activity right now.  That’s going to move west.  So we’re preparing people here and we’ll continue to prepare people across the state to really take advantage of what we have going on here and to grow their businesses, to create jobs, because it’s good for Ohio and good for Ohioans—Linda Woggon, Executive Vice President of the Ohio Chamber of Commerce, Executive Director of the Ohio Shale Coalition (:26)

The seminar also focused on the tasks needed for companies to get involved in the supply chain.  Ed Durante, President and CEO of Texas International Engineering Consultants of Houston, covered the necessity of API and ISO certification and compliance.  Following, Donald Fischbach, energy and natural resources chair for Halter & Griswold, provided a presentation entitled, “The Ins and Outs of Essential Master Service Agreements”.  These presentations were invaluable for the 170 company representatives in attendance.

Included in the day’s events was an expert panel of industry representatives to explain what they are seeking from suppliers, and how businesses can become engaged in natural gas operational support.  Xavier Tison of FMC Technologies said his company is “encouraged to use local companies, but they must be compliant, qualified, and certified.”  Ryan Litwinovich of CONSOL Energy echoed this, saying CONSOL “looks for safety and compliance.”  Mark Matusic of Chesapeake Energy said companies should be prepared and implement safety programs  first because “we have decades of opportunities for small businesses ahead of us.”  Rex Ferry, President and CEO of Evets Oil and Gas Construction Services, told the room to “research the industry and learn the terms”.

To wrap up the seminar, Scott Miller, Director of Energy and Environmental Programs at Ohio University explained the highly anticipated Ohio Shale Coalition Suppliers and Supply Chain Database at  He told companies to register so they could be put in the database and have a profile created.  The database tracks qualifications so companies can be a part of the supply chain and meet the needs of natural gas companies operating in the area.    In the video below, Miller explained the site and its benefit to the natural gas industry and other local companies:

We put all these companies out there and we show folks: here are the manufacturing companies, here are the operation services companies, here are the suppliers, and so on and so forth—Scott Miller, Director of Energy and Environmental Programs at Ohio University (1:22)

Before leaving, EID-O had a chance to talk to Eric Planey, Vice President of International Business Attraction for the Regional Chamber.  He pointed out many of the companies that have already expanded because of shale development:

On the upstream we’re doing fantastic and we’re going to start to see the trickle-down effect to the local economy—Eric Planey, Vice President of International Business Attraction, Youngstown Warren Regional Chamber (1:07)

As Planey explained, Youngstown (and the Mahoning Valley as a whole) is doing “fantastic”, thanks to the energy industry, and communities across Ohio are seeing the same results.  The various aspects of the supply chain and the local economies that support them are seeing incredible opportunities because of shale development.  It’s official, Ohioans are gearing up for the state’s well deserved revitalization.

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