Thursday, October 13, 2011

Natural Gas Drilling Boom in Pennsylvania Brings the Rust Belt Back to Life With Investment, Jobs

The "renaissance of American manufacturing" comes to America's "Rust Belt."

National Public Radio -- "A natural gas drilling boom in Pennsylvania is helping the economies of Rust Belt cities long accustomed to bad news. Drilling requires steel — lots of it — and that has manufacturers expanding and hiring new workers.

While much attention has been paid to the environmental risks of drilling into the Marcellus Shale, the economic benefits have been less prominent in the national discussion. But in Youngstown, Ohio, locals have been watching an old industry come back to life.

The Brier Hill neighborhood, northwest of downtown Youngstown, has been relatively quiet for the past few decades since the huge steel mills there shut down. But today it's noisy again, with trains passing each other on the tracks and heavy construction under way.

"What's really exciting to me is that for many, many years this area was the poster child for the Rust Belt economy," says Walter Good, vice president of economic development for the Youngstown/Warren Regional Chamber. It's his job to attract new companies, and the natural gas drilling boom in nearby Pennsylvania is making that a lot easier. "The phone is definitely ringing more," Good says.

In January through August of this year, 1,242 wells were drilled into the Marcellus Shale in Pennsylvania alone. Each one needs thousands of feet of steel pipe. That's why the French company Vallourec is building a new $650 million mill in Youngstown. The green-roofed facility is huge — about 1 million square feet.

Joel Mastervich, the president and COO of Vallourec's U.S. company, V&M Star, says Youngstown was an attractive place to build the new seamless pipe mill because the infrastructure and experienced workforce are already in place. Plus, it's close to the Marcellus Shale.

"We'll be able to produce the pipe, finish it here and send it to a customer that's, maybe, 100 miles away," says Mastervich.

Production is expected to begin in a few months, but already the Brier Hill neighborhood is perking back up. Stacey Seidita recently opened a sandwich shop in a brick building that had been empty for years. With about 1,000 construction workers building the mill and the promise of 350 permanent workers down the road, launching her business now made sense."

MP: The chart above shows the huge surge in Pennsylvania for jobs related directly to the natural gas drilling boom (employment has almost doubled since 2003), which has also created indirect jobs throughout the Marcellus region.  The story above highlights the increased employment and investment in Ohio's steel industry due to the gas revolution in neighboring Pennsylvania, which is also helping bring opportunities in supporting industries like restaurants and sandwich shops in both states.  

22 Comments:

At 10/13/2011 10:16 AM, Blogger Buddy R Pacifico said...

Here are hundreds of companies that are hiring, as industry memmbers of the Marcellus Shale Coalition.

 
At 10/13/2011 10:41 AM, Blogger Benjamin said...

In the private sector, equipment just gets better and cheaper all the time.

In the military sector, it just gets more expensive and less reliable, all the time.

 
At 10/13/2011 11:49 AM, Blogger Marko said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

 
At 10/13/2011 11:50 AM, Blogger Marko said...

"While much attention has been paid [by NPR] to the environmental risks of drilling into the Marcellus Shale . . . "

Poor NPR, they are really confused. They like the idea of downtrodden proletariat getting back to work, but they hate oil and gas companies. This story must be really confusing for them. It must be hard to really hate employers while claiming to love employees.

Thanks for backing NPR, U.S. Government, you are doing a great job.

 
At 10/13/2011 12:21 PM, Blogger juandos said...

"In the military sector, it just gets more expensive and less reliable, all the time"...

Yet another factless statement by the pseudo benny...

You ever consider doing any homework before you make these blanket statements?

 
At 10/13/2011 1:02 PM, Blogger Ron H. said...

Benjamin said...

"In the private sector, equipment just gets better and cheaper all the time.

In the military sector, it just gets more expensive and less reliable, all the time.
"

Comment Deleted

This post should be removed by the author.

 
At 10/13/2011 3:28 PM, Blogger Benjamin said...

Okay Ron H. and Juandos--

Please show us any major piece of equipment or even strategy by the Department of Defense that got better and cheaper.

I can think of drones, but only maybe on that score.

Also explain how spending per active duty soldier exploded from $27k in 1970 to more than $700k now.

And explain why you think that Defense, unlike other federal agencies, is not mostly composed of coprolite?

What make DoD efficient? Is it market competition? Strict oversight by Congressman who have defense installations in their districts? Obama has improved performance?

 
At 10/13/2011 4:43 PM, Blogger Rufus II said...

Missile Defense/x-band radar

F22 vs F4

 
At 10/13/2011 4:52 PM, Blogger Paul said...

Benji,

"Please show us any major piece of equipment or even strategy by the Department of Defense that got better and cheaper."

Jesus, you are an ignorant buffoon. Ever hear of Kevlar? The Humvee? The surge? Have you followed the progress of SDI? adaptic armor? Night vision goggles? GPS? Even MRE's have gotten better over time. That's just a quick list off the top of my head. The list goes on and on.

"What make DoD efficient?"

That's an entirely different question.

Douchebag.

 
At 10/13/2011 7:31 PM, Blogger VangelV said...

The shale boom is great for the oil services sector and the regions. But it has not been great for cash flows of the companies that are taking part.

I still think that other than some special cases where the formations are rich in easy to extract hydrocarbons we are looking at another version of the 1990s race for eyeballs. Just like then the players who provided the equipment and services needed by the internet companies made a great deal of money. Just like then employees in the sector made out with high salaries and a much greater standard of living. Just like the 1990s, governments at the local, state, and federal level saw huge inflows in income and capital gains taxes. But when that party ended, everyone who was playing it took a massive hit. While it could be different this time, I have to say that I am as skeptical now as I was then.

 
At 10/13/2011 9:26 PM, Blogger Benjamin said...

Paul--

That adaptic armor is fantastically expensive, and a single shot from a cheap-o RPG takes out the tank. Even see the Wikipedia on RPG's entry for that.
Expensive armor so that enemies using night-goggles can't see you? And when is this epic nighttime tank battle expected to take place? The Soviet Union has collapsed my friend. The only enemy a tank can expect to face is few terrorists armed with RPGs (at most), and then only if we occupy a foreign nation.

SDI? Are you kidding? The Star Wars idea has consumed hundreds of billions of dollars, and no one thinks it will really work. Again, does anyone really expect the Soviets to launch? So we spent all this money to thwart....Iran?

The Humvee is very expensive, and unless extensively modified, most soldiers in it have died from homemade roadside bombs. That's right,. and Humvee is easily taken out by a homemade bomb, the prime threat against US soldiers in Iraqistan.

I could go on. Paul, you obviously have accepted the idea that no defense "risk" is tolerable, and the solution to defense "risks" is to throw gobs of money at the "risk" through the unGodly expensive Department of Defense.

Taxpayers? Eff 'em hard and rough, with a big knurled pipe.

 
At 10/14/2011 3:48 AM, Blogger OBloodyHell said...

>>>> the huge surge in Pennsylvania for jobs related directly to the natural gas drilling boom (employment has almost doubled since 2003), which has also created indirect jobs throughout the Marcellus region.

Hey, whaddya know, a trickle down economy at work...

 
At 10/14/2011 3:58 AM, Blogger OBloodyHell said...

>>> In the military sector, it just gets more expensive and less reliable, all the time.

Not when you have the right people in charge. The result is something wonderful like the F-15 and the F-16.

The trick is, finding them and promoting them, as rarely happens.

Boyd was, unfortunately, no exception. Colonel was as high as he went, when he should have made at least Major General and been put in charge of equipment development for the Air Force.

 
At 10/14/2011 4:19 AM, Blogger OBloodyHell said...

>> Please show us any major piece of equipment or even strategy by the Department of Defense that got better and cheaper.

Answered above -- Fighter jets.

And as far as strategy, that, too, came from Colonel Boyd. While Stormin' Norman got the media creds for his Gulf War campaign, his original plan was a full frontal assault with main force -v- main force. He would have won, but it likely would not have been near as bloodless.

Instead, the action plan was detailed out by Boyd with Dick Cheney's full backing and support, and represented a quantum leap in use of mobility, harkening back to Patton's talents with modern equipment.

I recall reading that the Iraqi tankmen were complaining that it just wasn't fair... they had to stop to fire with any reliability, while the M-1 Abrams (another vast improvement over its predecessors, as juandos notes) was able to fire reliably at a target while barreling along at 40 mph.

>> Also explain how spending per active duty soldier exploded from $27k in 1970 to more than $700k now.

Oh, come on. While some of your comments on this have had a semblance of validity, this comment is simply flat out retarded and ignorant.

We'll ignore the fact that inflation has been significant since 1970, and assume some substantial but inadequate adjustment needs to be applied for that, but the average soldier now carries a vast array of electronic and protective gear that the soldier of 1970 could not have come close to dreaming of.

Here is, for example, a video of captured camera footage of a close-in Iraqi sniper hitting a US soldier right in the middle of his chest. He goes down, and there are hoots of celebration from the sniping soldiers, then dismay as he gets right back up and the sniper winds up getting captured.

Add to that various other things like lasers to be used to call in and aim fast tactical fighter/bomber support and the like and it's obvious where the money goes... advanced battlefield-hardened equipment is hardly ever going to be cheap.

 
At 10/14/2011 4:34 AM, Blogger OBloodyHell said...

>>> The Soviet Union has collapsed my friend.

Dude, are you paying NO attention whatsoever to the situation in Europe?

The current economic turmoil there is making the Eastern Euros a lot less interested in joining the EU, all the while a resurgent Russia is wooing them with its vast natural gas capabilities.

While it's hardly a foregone conclusion, it is not improbable, to say nothing like impossible, that we may see a somewhat less totalitarian Russian Federation which closely resembles the SovU in military threat potential.

Add to that the future of China, and you may well see the USA needing to have the best damned military on the planet again before too long. If China's economic system collapses, then what happens might not be pretty. China, you may note, has an excess of males. A very LARGE excess. If they lose the opportunity to compete in business for females, the historical process for dealing with excess males is to get militaristic and have them compete like THAT for mates. It has the added benefit of reducing the population of excess males.

EITHER of these potential threats, along with any other "lesser" threats (such as Iran, Pakistan, or other) may well require us to want to have the best damned equipped soldiers around, especially given the USA's rather clearly advertised inability to stay the course for more than a few years. We are becoming fat and lazy, and we are in danger of becoming exactly the Paper Tiger that Mao incorrectly believed we were so many years ago. While we have the might, we are getting dangerously close to lacking the national will needed to defend ourselves and our interests.

 
At 10/14/2011 5:50 AM, Blogger juandos said...

Hey buddy that's a good link and thanks for posting it...

There is a similer list for jobs in the Eagle Ford Shale area...

 
At 10/14/2011 6:09 AM, Blogger juandos said...

Maybe this "renaissance of American manufacturing" can reverse the condition that Stephen Moore of the WSJ noted back in April of this year: We've Become a Nation of Takers, Not Makers
More Americans work for the government than in manufacturing, farming, fishing, forestry, mining and utilities combined

 
At 10/14/2011 10:50 AM, Blogger Free2Choose said...

"That adaptic armor is fantastically expensive, and a single shot from a cheap-o RPG takes out the tank."

Now I KNOW you're full of shit. Take it from someone who's watched a T-72 tank round literally BOUNCE off of the front of an M1. Unless that RPG is riding on the front of an ICBM, I'm pretty skeptical it's going to penetrate tank armor.

 
At 10/14/2011 11:39 AM, Blogger klondike said...

What ? Jobs creation without government stimulus? Impossible!

 
At 10/14/2011 2:25 PM, Blogger VangelV said...

Not when you have the right people in charge. The result is something wonderful like the F-15 and the F-16.

Nice hardware but far too expensive for what it does. The cost is not just the manufacturer's fault. It comes from a corrupt system in which politicians are bought off by moving work into their districts. While that may create jobs in those districts the manufacturer would not choose to make those decisions if it was required to make the process as cost effective as possible.

 
At 10/14/2011 2:31 PM, Blogger VangelV said...

Dude, are you paying NO attention whatsoever to the situation in Europe?

The current economic turmoil there is making the Eastern Euros a lot less interested in joining the EU, all the while a resurgent Russia is wooing them with its vast natural gas capabilities.


Western Europe is being threatened by stupid actions taken by its governments and the EU, not Russia. Spending hundreds of billions trying to fight the Cold War again makes no sense because it will destroy the currency and will make the US far less safe. The Europeans should be left to pay for their own defense as should the Japanese and Koreans. After the failures in Iraq and Afghanistan the margin of error is a lot smaller.

 
At 10/14/2011 4:18 PM, Blogger Paul said...

Benji,

"That adaptic armor is fantastically expensive, and a single shot from a cheap-o RPG takes out the tank."

Ah, so invisible armor doesn't count as "better" in Benji's Land of Nitwits. OK. And have you ever even seen an RPG? Maybe if it hit the tank just right in the tracks it would disable the tanks movement.

"SDI? Are you kidding? The Star Wars idea has consumed hundreds of billions of dollars, and no one thinks it will really work."

You're full of shit. Successful SDI tests in the past few years have been more the rule than the exception.
http://closingvelocity.typepad.com/

"So we spent all this money to thwart....Iran?"

A) SDI was a major tool Reagan used to convince Gorbachev to give up.

B)Yeah, Iran will be a threat, are you kidding??

"I could go on."

Yes, you could go on and make an even bigger idiot of yourself.

 

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