9/16/14

Stepping Up to the Challenge: How Local Communities in the Utica Shale Play are Taking Advantage of the Boom

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Zack Space, a principal with Vorys Advisors, authored "Stepping Up to the Challenge: How Local Communities in the Utica Shale Play are Taking Advantage of the Boom" for the Oil & Gas Monitor.  The article highlighted the unique economic development opportunities that communities based in shale plays should use to their advantage.

The article states:

"Shale communities are working hard to confront the stress that rapid oil and gas activity has placed on local infrastructure, educational, housing, and public safety resources. Simultaneously, they are striving to make the economic benefits of the play lasting and sustainable. Thanks to creative economic tools many of these communities are confident that the shale boom can be properly managed in the short term, and sustainable in the long term. And that is good news for many shale communities, which ironically have a history of natural resource-based economies that have resulted in boom-to-bust cycles.

For example, much of Eastern Ohio, which lies over the Utica Shale, is currently experiencing a rapid gas and oil boom. This boom is the latest in a long line of economic cycles founded in the extraction of natural resources. Many Eastern Ohio counties continue to pay the price for over-dependence on a once-booming coal industry. Most coal profits—during peak production—left the region, and were not invested in public infrastructure expansion. Moreover, apart from electrical generation facilities, there were no obvious downstream manufacturing markets for which the coal could be put to long-term use. A failure to promote economic diversification and build public infrastructure debilitated the region, which still reels decades after the coal boom peaked. Now, community leaders in the region are faced with the challenge of making the shale economy both robust and sustainable, and they appear up to the task."

To read the entire article, visit the Oil & Gas Monitor website.