With Trump at a Shale Conference in Pittsburgh this week, the first debate coming up next Monday, and the election just over a month away, national energy policy looks to be front and center for the candidates. Ohio’s prestigious Ohio Business Roundtable weighed in on the debate this week by issuing its latest report – "Improving Ohio’s Energy Competitiveness." The report states that:
Ohio has enormous natural gas resources opportunity in the deep Utica basin, as well as a portion of the Marcellus shale. Ohio’s shale gas reserves can generate tremendous economic value and significantly boost the economy, much like we’ve witnessed in Pennsylvania’s Marcellus basin, Louisiana’s Haynesville basin, and Texas’ Eagle Ford basin. The extraction of Ohio’s portion of the Utica shale alone could increase Ohio’s GDP $8 billion and sustain 130,000 jobs by 2025. The Utica shale play is cost-competitive, with gas extraction costs 16% below the national average. Natural gas pipeline capacity is struggling to keep pace with increased gas production. Natural gas liquids (in particular ethane, propane, and butane) offer an immense economic opportunity.
Both the Cleveland Plain Dealer and the Natural Gas Intelligence have recently published stories detailing the Report.
The investment and job numbers are truly staggering. In fact, the shale industry’s investment in Ohio since 2010 likely exceeds the investment of any other industry over a similar time period – including timber, rail, auto, or steel. Even with the magnitude of these numbers, we are just in the early innings of the shale opportunity. The downstream opportunity for petrochemicals and plastics is just beginning.
The next 20 years could present the potential for an economic renaissance, but only with strong stewardship from Columbus and Washington, D.C. Without doubt, the November elections will help shape the magnitude of this opportunity.