Tuesday, December 23, 2014

More Progress in 2014, and the Stark County Oil & Gas Partnership is Leading the Way

It was another banner year for shale development in Ohio in 2014, and the Stark County Oil & Gas Partnership led the way in promoting its economic benefits for Stark and the surrounding region.

It began in January when we hosted a special “State of the Utica” event at the Pro Football Hall of Fame. Speakers emphasized the county’s infrastructure, including the finest schools and hospitals in the region, along with optimum industrial, office and retail opportunities. Rapid development in the housing industry was highlighted, including the construction of six new hotels in the county, along with the remodeling of the Holiday Inn Belden Village.

The Partnership’s Dave Kirven was a panelist at the “Energize Canton” event in June, also at the Pro Football Hall of Fame. The event had a specific focus on opportunities for women and minorities in the oil and gas industry, and highlighted its continuing impact on Ohio.

Also in June, we hosted our second annual golf outing at Shady Hollow Country Club in Massillon. The outing provides an excellent opportunity for business and civic leaders to network in a relaxed setting, while also hearing from speakers about the progress of shale drilling and exploration in the state.

Finally, we hosted the “Pipeline 101” event in November at Tozzi’s on 12th in Canton. Speakers highlighted the many ways that the oil and gas industry, and the pipelines that support it, are helping to drive economic growth in Ohio, Michigan and the surrounding region.

At a time when the governor of New York has issued a ban on fracking in that state—even as its benefits to neighboring Pennsylvania continue to bolster that state’s economy, just as it is doing here in Ohio—we at the Stark County Oil & Gas Partnership remain committed to promoting its safety and overall benefits to our community and our state. We look forward to continued growth and progress in 2015!

Tuesday, November 25, 2014

Pipeline 101 Event Highlights Ongoing Development in Stark County and Ohio

The oil and gas industry, and the pipelines that serve it, represent the backbone for growth in Ohio, Michigan and the surrounding region.

That was the message heard at Pipeline 101, the latest  event sponsored by the Stark County Oil & Gas Partnership, which took place on Nov. 19 at Tozzi’s on 12th  in Canton.

Mike Chadsey of the Ohio Oil & Gas Association opened the evening by explaining how existing and proposed pipelines will affect the overall Utica Shale play, 

Peter Lidiak, pipeline director for the American Petroleum Institute, gave an overview of pipelines in the U.S. He explained that 50 percent of pipeline in the ground was installed before the 1950s, and that the rest were installed primarily from 1970 to 2000.

Today, Lidiak said, the industry has responded to safety considerations learned from past technology to use higher strength materials, better welding practices and better construction methods.

Dylan Borchers, and attorney with Bricker & Eckler Attorneys at Law, discussed the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission’s regulation issues, along with the process for siting pipelines for the FERC and the State of Ohio.

Finally, Arthur Diestel of Spectra Energy gave  a positive overview of the Nexus Pipeline that will be running through northern Stark County. He said the primary focus of the project is to deliver natural gas for power generation, industrial growth, and local distribution to consumers, citing the fact that the gas delivered by the pipeline would be enough to heat 8 million homes per year.

Doug Lane, a board member of the Partnership and chair of the Stark County Chamber Association, moderated the event. Refreshments were provided and a networking hour concluded the evening.

Monday, October 27, 2014

Pipeline 101: Separate Fact from Fiction at Partnership Event on Nov. 11

As U.S. oil imports rise and gasoline prices drop, there's an increasing amount of information in the news and on the Web about oil and gas in Ohio and the country, as well as horizontal drilling, and, of course, pipelines.

So what are we supposed to believe? Find out for yourself on Wednesday, Nov. 11, when the Stark County Oil & Gas Partnership presents "Pipeline 101," a seminar featuring several representatives from the oil and gas industry.

Speakers will include Mike Chadsey of the Ohio Oil and Gas Association, Peter Lidiak of the American Petroleum Institute, Dylan Borchers of Bricker & Eckler, Attorneys at Law, and Arthur Diestel of Spectra Energy. Doug Lane, chair of the Stark County Chamber Association and president of the North Canton Area Chamber of Commerce, will emcee.

The event will take place Nov. 11 from 5:30 to 9 p.m. at Tozzi's on 12th. Admission is free and hors d'oeuvres, beer and wine will be available. Registration is requested for planning purposes.

Sponsorships are $200 and include a display table at the event.

For more information or to register, visit www.choosestark.com.

Monday, October 6, 2014

Education Attainment Rates, Local Training Initiatives Point to Promising Economic Future for Stark County

Recent data cited by the Stark Education Partnership indicates that education attainment levels among Canton adults ages 18 to 24 exceed both the state and national averages.

According to the data, released by the U.S. Census Bureau, more than 60 percent of Canton residents in that age group have taken post-secondary classes or gone on to earn a degree, a figure higher than the state (55.3%) and national (54.7%) averages.

A recent report by the Economic Policy Institute, a Washington D.C. think tank, emphasized the importance of education to a local economy: "Overwhelmingly, high-wage states are states with a well-educated workforce. There is a clear and strong correlation between the educational attainment of a state's workforce and median wages in the state."

This news comes on the heels of the announcement in August by Stark State College to establish a natural gas and oil drilling training center as part of a satellite academic center in Downtown Canton. This direct partnership between a local college and the energy industry will better prepare skilled laborers for workforce.

The Stark Education Partnership collaborates with educators, businesses, and civic and community leaders to foster sustainable improvement in schools throughout the county. Furthermore, Stark County is well-positioned to remain competitive in the years ahead, with four-year universities such as Kent State Stark, Malone, Mount Union and Walsh, as well as the education available in technology and the trades at Stark State, one of Ohio's premier community and technical colleges.

Monday, September 22, 2014

Pro Football Hall of Fame's 'Village' Concept An Exciting Development for Stark County

The Stark Oil & Gas Partnership has a great working relationship with the Pro Football Hall of Fame in Canton and is grateful for their support of the Partnership's programs and initiatives.

It was exciting to learn of the Hall of Fame's idea to create a village around the shrine that would change the face of not only that area but all of Canton and Stark County. The prospect of including a convention center and a four-star hotel turned heads in this area and at the national level, with leadership of the National Football League and its 32 team owners.

"For starters we have the Hall of Fame here, and we have this incredible metaphor for excellence," Hall of Fame president David Baker told The Repository. "No one thought Kissimmee, Florida, would be what it is today...Most people don't know Disney World is located in Kissimmee. Look at what they did."

Whatever shape the Hall of Fame's plans ultimately take, the ongoing growth of the internationally known museum will only serve to strengthen Stark County's economy, provide more jobs, and improve the region's quality of lifeall things to which the Stark County Oil & Gas Partnership is dedicated.

Monday, August 25, 2014

Ohio at the Center of USA's Surge to World Energy Dominance

“The volume just keeps going up and up.”

That sentence highlighted a report on the Crain’s ClevelandBusiness website that outlined how oil and gas producing states outside of Texas and Oklahoma are driving the surge in U.S. production.

“The Marcellus and Utica shale plays continue to become a larger slice of the nation’s energy pie,” said the report, which points out that the progress in the region is beginning to dwarf that of other oil-producing regions in the country.

A separate report at CantonRep.com indicated that the Utica Shale had surpassed the 1,000-well mark for wells listed as drilled, drilling or producing.

Those encouraging reports were followed by data from theEnergy Information Administration  indicating that in April the U.S. produced 2 million more barrels per day of oil and natural gas liquids than Saudi Arabia, “the largest difference ever recorded between the two nations.” The report went on to state that such an “energy miracle has been made possible by the shale oil and gas booms” in states around the country.

As the article on the Motley Fool website points out: “People who think America’s oil boom will prove to be short lived fail to realize that the United States has some of the largest shale formations in the world.”

The article points out that the shift in energy dominance from Saudi Arabia and the Middle East to the U.S. continues, offering “more stable energy prices, scores of new high-quality jobs, and increased world stability.”

Stark County and the surrounding region are playing an important role in that shift, and stand to benefit for years to come from the oil and gas exploration and drilling taking place in the Utica and Marcellus shale plays.

Sunday, July 27, 2014

How One Foundation Works to Reverse the Once-Supportive Position of Environmental Groups on Natural Gas Exploration

It’s remarkable to think that just a few years ago leading environmental groups were heralding natural gas as the key to a “climate-friendly energy supply.”

In fact, that phrase is taken from a statement by Eileen Claussen, president of the Pew Center on Global Climate Change, in a 2008 speech. For at least a decade before that, green activists were hailing natural gas as being “inherently cleaner than coal or oil.”

But the rhetoric suddenly began to change a few years ago, and, according to one leading philanthropic publication, it’s traceable to an anti-fracking opposition campaign being funded by the Park Foundation, a small organization based in New York.

“Gas Heat,” an article published in Philanthropy Roundtable, concluded that “The morphing of natural gas from promising next step to ‘worse than oil and coal,’ as some activists now claim, happened almost overnight.”

The report tells the astonishing account of how the Park Foundation “uses focused academic, media and activist grants to redirect a policy debate.” (The foundation's website says that Park "supports public interest media that raises awareness of critical environmental, political and social issues to promote a better informed citizenry in the U.S.")

"Gas Heat" is a remarkable story, worth reading to understand the Park Foundation's one-sided tactics. Click here to read it on the Philanthropy Roundtable website.

Friday, June 13, 2014

Canton Seminar Focuses on Energy Opportunities for Minorities, Women

More than 100 people assembled at the Pro Football Hall of Fame Event Center in Canton on June 10 for “Energize Canton,” a half-day event organized by the Ohio office of the American Petroleum Institute. The seminar was presented as a community conversation about the energy industry and focused career opportunities available for minorities and women, particularly in Canton and Stark County.

Dave Kirven speaks
Dave Kirven, chairman of the Stark County Oil & Gas Partnership, participated in a panel discussion in his role as business agent for the East Central Ohio Building & Construction Trades Council.  Dave emphasized the opportunities available in the trades and the advantages of entering those careers.

Ron Ponder of WHBC radio served as master of ceremonies for the day. Mayor William Healy of Canton spoke to the group about opportunities in the city and responded to some questions from the audience.

For more coverage of the event, please click here to read a review from The Repository in Canton.

Thursday, May 22, 2014

2014 Golf Outing Set for June 19

The second annual Stark County Oil & Gas Partnership Golf Outing is set for Monday, June 16 at Shady Hollow Country Club in Massillon.

The event sold out last year and we're on course to do the same this year as well. Cost is $500 for a foursome, $125 for an individual, and $35 if you'd like to join us only for the steak dinner afterward. Players in the event will receive a complimentary lunch at the turn. As we did last year, we'll also have a putting contest as part of the event.

Our speaker at the dinner will be State Sen. Scott Oelslager, who will give us an update on the Utica Shale.

Sponsorships are also available. For information on sponsoring or playing in the event, email us at rsvp@choosestark.com or call us at 330-451-6207. To pay on line or to download the registration/sponsorship flier, click on this link: 2014 Golf Outing Registration.

Tuesday, April 29, 2014

Oil & Gas Activity Helps Drive Stark County Hotel Boom

The continued progress on the hotels being built in Stark County has been a hot topic for more than a year now. Last fall we wrote of six hotels being built (5) or renovated (1) in the region.

Springhill Suites (Courtesy Canton-Stark County CVB)
Would you believe seven? That's right, another one was added to the mix when Embassy Suites announced plans to build a new hotel at the Shuffel Road exit off of I-77 at the northern edge of Stark County.

Recent updates in The Repository and from the Canton Stark County Convention & Visitors Bureau provided more details of the hotel construction boom, which is being fueled in large part by the oil & gas activity in Northeast Ohio.

Progress continues on the Springhill Suites by Marriott (set to open in June), the Hyatt Place, and the Staybridge Suites, all in the Belden Village area, along with the Fairfield Inn at the intersection of I-77 and Faircrest on Canton's south side, and the new Comfort Inn in Hartville (that community's first major hotel chain property). In addition, the major renovation of the Holiday Inn in Belden Village continues, with a projected completion set for early 2015.

These properties will not only be supported by the oil and gas industry, but also by tourism in the region (especially for the Pro Football Hall of Fame annual activities), airport traffic at CAK, and travelers to the flea market and other activities in Hartville.

Click on the links to read more from The Repository or the Canton Stark County Convention & Visitors Bureau.

Thursday, March 6, 2014

Ohio's Gas and Oil Output 'Should Get People's Attention'

That's what Peter MacKenzie of the Ohio Oil and Gas Association said on March 6 about the numbers released by the organization during its 67th winter meeting in Columbus.

As reported in the Akron Beacon Journal, the data shared at the winter meeting showed that oil production nearly doubled over the past year, and natural gas production rose 2-1/2 times higher.

The data "should get people's attention," the story quoted MacKenzie as saying. "It sure got my attention."

In all, Mackenzie said, oil production in Ohio rose from slightly less than 5 million barrels in 2012 to more than 9.7 million barrels in 2013. Natural gas production increased even more dramatically, from 83 million cubic feet to more than 203 million cubic feet in a year's time.

The OOGA is a close working partner of the Stark County Oil & Gas Partnership. Their annual Winter Meeting brings together industry leaders from Ohio and across the nation to share news about the state of the oil and gas industry, through business sessions and a trade show. About 80 vendors participated in this year's trade show during the meeting.

Wednesday, February 19, 2014

More Good News On the Way for Stark County's Economy, Research Reveals

Sales receipts in Stark and surrounding counties were boosted by shale activity in 2013, reflective of a massive $8 billion investment spree taking place in Ohio due to the Utica Shale play.

(hivelocitymedia.com photo)
Edward (Ned) Hill, dean of the Maxine College of Urban Affairs at Cleveland State University, recently led a webinar on the status ofthe Utica shale’s development. He indicated that more gains are anticipated as a result of drilling in the state.

Hill (pictured) also had good news for Stark County in his department’s most recent edition of the Ohio Utica Shale Gas Monitor, dated January 10. CSU includes Stark among the moderate shale counties at this point, along with Mahoning, Portage, Trumbull and Tuscarawas counties.

The report said that sales receipts through August 2013 in those counties increased by 10.7% over the second quarter of 2012. “Increased sales reflect spending by land and mineral rights owners as well as spending of out-of-state workers because hotel and lodging bills are subject to the sales and use tax in Ohio, as are restaurant meals,” it concluded.

The report indicated that the larger metropolitan areas of Akron-Canton and Youngstown-Warren are benefiting because they have a stronger retailing presence than the counties that are currently the center of the most drilling activity.

This is what the Stark County Oil & Gas Partnership has been promoting as we continue to point out why Stark County is a great place to live and establish a business presence.

Click here to read the CSU report: Ohio Utica Shale GasMonitor – Jan. 10, 2014

Tuesday, January 14, 2014

Great Turnout at 'State of the Utica' Event

More than 100 people representing area businesses, unions and associations joined the Stark County Oil & Gas Partnership on Jan. 13 for our 2014 kickoff event.

The event, billed as the "State of the Utica," took place at the Pro Football Hall of Fame in Canton. A series of speakers presented updates about oil and gas developments in the region, as well as information about drug testing, health care reform and environmental issues.

Mike Chadsey of the Ohio Oil & Gas Association highlighted the industry's latest accomplishments and developments in the state, and offered insight about developments on the horizon for 2014.

Hors d'ouvres and beverages were available compliments of the partnership and key sponsors AultCare, Aultworks, AXA Advisors and the East Central Ohio Building and Construction Trades Council.

For local newspaper coverage, go to: Discussion highlights developments in the Utica Shale.

For complete photo coverage, go to: State of the Utica Event.