Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Shale Economic Impact Being Felt

I read an interesting article from Williamsport, PA noting how the fortunes for the regional airport have improved dramatically since the beginning of Marcellus Shale drilling.  Where two years ago the airport had to call in the federal government to keep its last commuter flight from ending service, now flights are expanding and companies with Marcellus-related businesses are renting space from the airport.  It's been a significant turnaround in a short period of time.

I'm sure that same story can be told numerous times over across that region as drilling activity picks up and the economic impact of that drilling is being felt by local governments in perilous economic condition.  Those involved in exploration and production buy gas, rent hotel rooms, eat local food, etc.  Eventually they will hire more and more local workers.  The same story has been told in the Haynesville Shale for several years.  Recently we've seen articles about companies setting more permanent roots with new regional office complexes being built for Chesapeake, Shell and EnCana (although it's in Plano).  The economic impact of shale is real, even if the economics to the producers are marginal at best.

I wonder how the tangible economic impact of increased gas production will affect the hue and cry by those opposed to gas drilling for fear of hydraulic fracturing,

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