From Ohio University:
The Ohio shale energy industry is on the verge of a growth boom, and the George V. Voinovich School of Leadership and Public Affairs at Ohio University is helping Ohio companies prepare for the influx of industry needs with a supply chain database.
The database – an online geocoded tool and interactive map – helps boost the competitiveness of Ohio businesses by identifying active and potential shale energy supply companies throughout southern and eastern Ohio.
Through a United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) Rural Business Enterprise Grant, the project focused on rural business enhancement programs and developing an understanding of shale oil and gas industry business opportunities in a 12-county region (see map inset). In April, the school hosted over 500 leaders in the shale energy industry at the Ohio Shale Energy 2012 conference in Cambridge, Ohio.
More than 700 businesses – over half from the specified counties – have been identified and entered into the database in three categories: manufacturers, operational services (e.g., repair and maintenance, site developers and extractors, fabricators and civil engineers) and ancillary services such as restaurants and hotels.
Scott Miller, director of energy and environmental programs at the Voinovich School, thinks it is important for Ohio businesses to take advantage of the opportunity to be involved with the database.
"Suppliers in this sector are constantly trying to find ways to make connections and prove their capabilities," he said. "On the other side, large oil and gas firms are trying to shore up their understanding of their Ohio-based supply network. Based upon our conversations with all of these companies we feel that a system like this will help both suppliers and procurement agents reduce transaction times and increase market penetration for Ohio-made products and services."
According to Tony Logan, USDA state director of rural development, Ohio businesses have experience in extraction services, such as timber and coal, but do not retain the associated revenues when those resources disappear.
"If the area can retain a greater portion of the proceeds from the new shale gas play, we can fortify the economy of the area for generations to come," he said.
The Voinovich School and the Ohio Shale Coalition are finalizing a partnership to expand the database statewide and gain a greater understanding of the entire shale energy industry in Ohio.
"[The] Voinovich School’s Shale Supply Chain Database Project has been very helpful to rural communities in southeastern Ohio by connecting the businesses located there with oil and gas companies who may need their services or products," Executive Director of the Ohio Shale Coalition Linda Woggon said.
The Coalition will have various roles in its partnership with the school, including assistance refining and building the database and marketing to potential vendors. The partnership will help provide the resources and training needed by Ohio companies to fully capitalize on the shale energy boom, Woggon added.
Interested businesses are encouraged to participate in an online survey and register with the database at www.ohioshaleenergy.com.
Chesapeake Energy Corp,the Oklahoma-based firm is the No. 1 driller in Ohio.
Rig Count Interactive Map by Baker Hughes, an energy services company.
Shale Sheet Fracking, a Youngstown Vindicator blog.
The Ohio Environmental Council, a statewide eco-group based in Columbus.
Earthjustice, a national eco-group.
People's Oil and Gas Collaborative-Ohio, a grass-roots group in Northeast Ohio.
Concerned Citizens of Medina County, a grass-roots group.
No Frack Ohio, a Columbus-based grass-roots group.
Fracking: Gas Drilling's Environmental Threat by ProPublica, an online journalism site.
Pipeline, blog from Pittsburgh Post-Gazette on Marcellus shale drilling.
Allegheny Front, environmental public radio for Western Pennsylvania.