What They’re Saying: MSC on the Road, Shale Gas Industry Continues to Bring Hope to Rural Communities

It’s been another busy, fact-packed, job-creating week for the Marcellus Shale Coalition (MSC). From meetings with Luzerne County landowners, to a grand opening of a Westmoreland County facility, the MSC continues to engage and help educate key stakeholders, various coalitions, small businesses and folks just looking for an opportunity to join our industry’s efforts in delivering affordable, clean-burning energy for America — a key aspect of our ‘Guiding Principles’.

Here’s what they’re saying about the economic activity that responsible Marcellus development is providing for the region’s workforce and small businesses.

  • “Now there is an opportunity and plenty of work that will be here for a long time”: “More than 100 local business people turned out to see how they can take advantage of the touted economic boom from Marcellus Shale natural gas extraction. Businesses ranging from engineering and restaurants to jewelers and electricians came to the Hilton Scranton and Conference Center to see what the new industry needs and whether they can provide it. The dollar amounts are eye-popping. A single well costs $4 million to complete. It requires 125 tons of cement, 5,000 tons of aggregate stone and 180 rail cars of sand. A Range Resources executive said more than 100 suppliers and contractors are needed to complete a well. Every mile of pipeline is another $1 million. … “We are an example of a local company that got involved in the play,” he said. “I came back to the area for this, and we all complain that our kids can’t come back. Now there is an opportunity and plenty of work that will be here for a long time.” (Scranton Times-Tribune, 10/22/10)
  • Local Business Hires 20, Opens Two New Offices for Marcellus-Related Work: “The Marcellus Shale offers tremendous economic opportunity for local small business owners, representatives of the Marcellus Shale Coalition said Thursday. … At a meeting with local business leaders … representatives from the natural gas drilling and pipeline industries offered advice on how to tap the well of opportunity offered by the shale gas industry. About 100 people attended the event, which was co-hosted by gas-industry advocacy group Marcellus Shale Coalition, the state Department of Community and Economic Development, the Northeastern Pennsylvania Industrial Resource Center and the Greater Scranton Chamber of Commerce. Chris McCue, of Borton-Lawson, called his Wilkes-Barre-based environmental engineering firm a “story of a local company that’s been able to get involved in the (Marcellus Shale) play that didn’t have experience prior to the play developing.” McCue said development of the Marcellus Shale has given Borton-Lawson “a resume that we didn’t have a year and a half ago and helped the firm hire 35 employees since January, 20 of them directly linked to the drilling industry, and open branch offices in Towanda and Pittsburgh. (Wilkes-Barre Time Leader, 10/22/10)
  • MSC president “sees 90,000 new Pa. jobs by end of year”: Promising thousands of jobs and decades of development, a natural gas drilling advocacy group says the change the industry will bring to Pennsylvania has only just begun. “I think it has happened quickly, but I think the coverage of it has been pervasive. I mean the interest in it has made it seem faster than it really is,” Marcellus Shale Coalition President Kathryn Klaber told The Times Leader on Wednesday. Natural gas drilling in the Marcellus Shale is not a “flash-in-the-pan gold rush,” Klaber said, but an industry that will add 90,000 jobs to Pennsylvania’s work force by the end of the year and will produce steady employment for decades to come.” (Wilkes-Barre Time Leader, 10/21/10)
  • “Marcellus Shale natural gas can give Pennsylvania energy security”: “Pennsylvania is facing a ‘huge opportunity’ with the development of the Marcellus Shale, but it also faces many more challenges in the coming year on several economic fronts, a state Chamber of Business and Industry executive believes. Gene Barr, vice president of Government and Public Affairs for the Pennsylvania Chamber of Business and Industry, was the keynote speaker at last night’s annual meeting of the Clinton County Economic Partnership. … “This area, along with the rest of the state where the Marcellus is, has the opportunity to see the biggest economic boom that Pennsylvania has seen in decades,” he said. … Marcellus Shale natural gas can give Pennsylvania energy security at a time when the state is now a huge exporter with of coal and nuclear power, he said. (Lock Haven Express, 10/14/10)
  • More Marcellus Jobs en route to Tioga Co.: “Ground was broken Thursday for a treatment plant that will allow wastewater produced by hydrofracturing for natural gas in the Marcellus Shale in Tioga County to be treated and reused “indefinitely,” according to Neil Hedrick, Hydro Recovery LP president. … Hydro Recovery LP is expected to begin operations in April, Hedrick said, and will employ 12 people. It also will create about 40 construction jobs while it is being built. Mike Hawbaker, owner of Hawbaker Engineering, is the plant’s designer. Since drilling began in the Marcellus Shale more than two years ago, his company has been able to add 200 jobs, he said. Hedrick said the facility is the first of about 12 the company plans to build in the region. (Williamsport Sun-Gazette, 10/22/10)
  • Chamber of Commerce Exec.: Marcellus Producers “are hiring local”: “Companies doing business in the Marcellus Shale are moving to the area and creating jobs for local workers. About 1,000 of the jobs were available at Saturday’s Marcellus Career Expo at the Pennsylvania College of Technology field house. … According to an event program, companies were looking for, among other things, receptionists, sales staff, crane and heavy equipment operators, commercial drivers, general laborers, mechanics, drillers, derrick-hands, and engineers. “There are definitely local jobs available,” said Chamber of Commerce Executive Vice President Jason Fink. “There are a lot of folks saying people are being brought in from out of state for these jobs. That’s not what we’re seeing from these companies. They are hiring local.” … Mark Farabee, district manager for Halliburton … said his company is expanding and anticipates hiring 300 people by the end of next year. … “The majority are local,” Morris said, adding, “We’re always looking to hire employees. I just hired 12 people within the last three or four days.” (Williamsport Sun-Gazette, 10/17/10)
  • Marcellus Jobs “reality, in some cases, is different from the talking points of the industry’s detractors”: “There were 20 companies there. They were offering about 1,000 jobs. They intend to hire local people. That was the format at Saturday’s Marcellus Career Expo at the Pennsylvania College of Technology. Besides offering opportunity, the expo offered a window into the reality of employment by the gas industry. That reality, in some cases, is different from the talking points of the industry’s detractors. … These companies do hire local people and will be hiring more of them … While many of those hired may start out relatively low on the wage scale, they can make a lot of money within a couple years, perhaps in the $60,000 to $100,000 range. (Williamsport Sun-Gazette Editorial, 10/22/10)
  • Working Together, Educating the Community, Hiring Locally: “A gas industry engineer stressed the importance of working together to ensure Wayne County can get the most out of the Marcellus Shale at a Tuesday evening educational forum on natural gas drilling. The Wayne County Oil & Gas Task Force and the Penn State University Cooperative Extension sponsored “Marcellus Well Drilling 101” at the Honesdale High School. … He said Marcellus Shale in the county would bring opportunities to everyone. … He also said the process is so broad and complex that it would be impossible to not involve local workers. “We have to work together. I’m not able to transport a bunch of workers from Oklahoma,” he said. (Wayne Independent, 10/20/10)
  • Baker Hughes hiring for center: “Baker Hughes Inc., an oil and natural gas services company based in Houston, said Thursday it is hiring an unspecified number of skilled laborers for its new $16 million repair and maintenance center in Hempfield, Westmoreland County. The 57,000-square-foot facility will support natural gas drilling and production in the Marcellus shale reserves in Pennsylvania and West Virginia, said spokeswoman Kathy Shirley. About 75 people so far work at the Hempfield center, part of a $250 million investment Baker Hughes is making to support its Marcellus operations, the company said. (Tribune-Review, 10/22/10)