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On the upbeat front, this weeks Crain’s Cleveland has an article on the front page about the contemplated investment in Eastern Ohio to support shale gas development. The dollar numbers are staggering.  

“‘Eastern Ohio will see more than $5 billion of new pipeline facilities built over the next few years, on top of billions more in natural gas processing and storage facilities,’ said Scott Hallam, manager of development and operations for Access Midstream, another midstream development company in North Canton.” 

The corresponding opportunity for servicing companies is also staggering. “‘The range of outside services these midstream companies will need in order to complete their planned developments is almost as broad as the scope of the work itself,’ midstream representatives said. Aside from the obvious construction companies and engineering firms, work will need to be done by lawyers, surveyors, excavators, geologists, biologists, caterers and trucking companies. Even arborists will be needed to identify and manage trees that need to be removed.”

With the opportunity comes challenges. The service companies need to be qualified. Those qualifications include safety, drug testing, 24/7 operations and even functioning web sites. The opportunity will insure that the challenges will be overcome. “It's truly a game changer — we think this is one of the most profound events that has unfolded in U.S. history in probably 100 years.”