Several members of the Marcellus Shale industry spoke at a meeting of the Williamsport/Lycoming Chamber of Commerce yesterday, including MDN friend George Stark from Cabot Oil & Gas. George is director of external affairs. At the meeting he said the Marcellus industry has made tremendous strides in the last 10 years and will be around for decades to come. He said, “It’s booming in our area.” George also said Cabot is having trouble filling vacant jobs.
Cabot drills almost exclusively in Marcellus Shale of Susquehanna County, PA. They have a few wells just across the border in Wyoming County too. As of June 2017, Cabot alone had pumped $4.6 BILLION into the economy of Susquehanna County in 10 years (see Amazing: Cabot O&G Invests $4.6 BILLION in One PA County in 10 Yrs). It’s probably closer to $6 billion now. And that’s just Cabot! There’s a number of other drillers in Susquehanna County. Our guesstimate is that the Marcellus industry in the past 12 years has spent more than $10 billion in Susquehanna County.
That kind of investment is great news for rural Susquehanna County, where the county seat of Montrose has a population of maybe 1,500 people. But all of that drilling (and pipelining, and trucking, and welding, and bulldozing, etc.) has left employers like Cabot with a need to find workers.
Energy industry officials say natural gas will continue to fuel the economy for years to come, but convincing more people of the benefits of the resource must be part of the equation.
George Stark, director of external affairs, Cabot Oil & Gas, told Williamsport/Lycoming Chamber of Commerce members Thursday that the natural gas industry has come a long way in the roughly 10 years since drilling of the Marcellus Shale began.
Thanks to ever-improving drilling technology, an average single well in Susquehanna County produces up to 27 billion cubic feet of natural gas, a figure unheard of a decade ago.
“It’s booming in our area,” he said.
The industry is doing so well, in fact, that his own company is having problems filling vacant job slots.
But Stark said there is a need for the younger generation to understand the importance of natural gas.*
Also speaking at the meeting was Joe McGinn of Energy Transfer Partners (the company building the Mariner East pipelines), and Natural Gas Supply Association President Dena Wiggins:
Joe McGinn, of Energy Transfer Partners, a pipeline company, noted that the natural gas industry has huge impact in the way of good-paying jobs and lower energy costs.
Many states, he said, would “kill” to have natural gas.
Natural Gas Supply Association President Dena Wiggins said, “We really are as a country awash in natural gas.”
While Pennsylvania is the nation’s second largest producer of natural gas, neighboring New York maintains a moratorium on it.
That prevents pipelines needed for moving gas from being located in New York.
“We can’t get pipe through New York to serve the Northeast,” she said.
That has meant higher energy prices in New York and New England.
Wiggins said resistance to natural gas from those who push for renewable energy is well-funded and not going away.
“We are not 100 percent renewable in this country,” she said. “I don’t think the opposition has the answer. I really don’t think they have one.”
There will continue, Wiggins noted, to be plenty of natural gas for years to come including for exportation.
But convincing the next generation of the benefits of natural gas is important, she said.
Stark noted that Cabot exports worldwide including to markets in Japan.
“This is a commodity,” he said.
McGinn said, “We are 10 years into the natural gas resource revolution in the state.”*
*Williamsport (PA) Sun-Gazette (May 10, 2019) – ‘Natural gas is here to stay’
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