American Oil and Gas Reporter - August 2017 - 114

Public school districts and universities
across Texas benefit substantially from
the taxes and royalty revenue paid by the
oil and gas industry, but economic benefits

associated with oil and gas development
are unevenly distributed across public
schools and universities, the task force
report states.

Additional research on the uneven
distribution of benefits and costs associated
with development is warranted, the review
suggests.
r

Shale Crescent Beckons End-Users
By Roy Maynard
Special Correspondent

MARIETTA, OH.-Greg Kozera says
his most memorable elevator pitch was
exactly that-a few seconds in an elevator.
He had from floor 26 to floor 2 of the
Marquis Marriott Hotel in Houston to
make his case last spring.
On board with him were a few executives from national and international
energy companies. One casually asked
Kozera about his own role in the energy
industry. Kozera told him about the Shale
Crescent, a portion of the Appalachian
Basin which he described as an ideal
spot for manufacturing and economic development.
"Did you know the mid-Ohio valley
has the cheapest and most abundant
natural gas in the industrialized world?"
Kozera asked. "If you took the Shale
Crescent-northern West Virginia, southeast Ohio, and southwestern Pennsylvania-it would be the third-largest natural
gas producer in the world. The region
produces more than Texas."
And with access to 50 percent of the
nation's markets within a day's drive,
and abundant freshwater, an economic
development initiative of the same name,
Shale Crescent USA, is working to attract
industry to the region. According to Kozera, director of marketing for the group,
one distinct feature of the effort is that
it's cooperative, rather than competitive.
"We are nonpolitical and nongovernmental," he says. "It doesn't matter what
side of the Ohio a plant locates. The key
is for us to work together."
According to Kozera, that specific elevator encounter resulted in a meeting at the
executive's office two weeks later and
turned into an ongoing relationship for
Shale Crescent. What the final result will
be remains to be seen, Kozera acknowledges,
but he says he is hopeful and patient.
"We have had some success so far,"
he assesses. "It's a marathon, though.
People don't make multibillion dollar
decisions overnight. We have gone from
marketing now to face-to-face meetings
with people who actually can make the
decisions. We are telling our story to as
many people as we can, because it's a
good story."

Growing A Region
According to Kozera, the Mid-Ohio
Valley flourished after early discoveries
of oil and natural gas. The region prospered
in the late 1800s and again following
World War II.
"Industry left when the local oil and
gas industry declined, and oil and natural
gas had to come from outside the area,"
he wrote in the Marietta Times. "The
same pipelines that brought natural gas
into the region are now carrying natural
gas out of the Northeast and to places
such as the Gulf Coast and Virginia."
And as the oil and gas industry revived,
largely thanks to the unconventional Marcellus and Utica shale formations, it is
becoming increasingly more economical
to bring industry to the source of the gas.
Jerry James, director of Shale Crescent
USA, president of Artex Oil in Marietta,
and past president of the Ohio Oil & Gas
Association, has been involved in the
project since the beginning.
"Historically, natural gas has flowed
from the Gulf of Mexico and from out
west, and has moved north," he said in a
press conference. "So for somebody to
locate a plant for the last 75 years, the
right answer was the Gulf of Mexico.
We now have the opportunity to compete
with those areas. We now have the lowest
natural gas prices in the industrialized
world."
This can make the region an "economic
powerhouse," Shale Crescent USA officials
say. Many of the region's leaders publicly
agree. A number of area publications,
such as a couple of Charleston, W.V.,
newspapers, are also on board, lauding
the effort by an industry that rarely gets
much editorial encouragement.
"The beauty of the group, like many
economic development groups, is that it
is private business and community development folks-working with government
agencies and others-to grow a region," a
Charleston Gazette-Mail editorial read
in May. "If they are successful in helping
bring more jobs and more industry and
more economic impact to the region,
everybody, including West Virginia, will
benefit. Here is hoping Shale Crescent
and other like-minded development groups
succeed in bringing growth to a state and
region that sorely needs it."

114 THE AMERICAN OIL & GAS REPORTER

The Charleston-based State-Journal
agrees.
"This really is a tumultuous time in
our society, with arguments at every turn
and at every level. So it's all the more
striking to see or hear about a successful
partnership or a true collective movement,"
that newspaper wrote in May. "West Virginia and the Mid-Ohio Valley have a
sleeping giant that many volunteers are
slowly awakening in Shale Crescent USA."
The State-Journal praised the effort
as both cooperative and ambitious.
"The answers to many of West Virginia's
problems are real jobs," the newspaper
opined. "Jobs are hope. Whether they are
in manufacturing, engineering, law or medicine, jobs will push the Mountain State
back into growth mode. So many West
Virginians who are spread throughout the
country would love the opportunity to
come back home. And if more people
pushed for success without stopping to
worry about the praise, we could lure a
fish big enough for all of them to feast."

Back To Manufacturing
One major project, Shell Chemical
Appalachia LLC's planned 300-acre ethane
cracker plant in Monaca, Pa., is already
well on its way to breaking ground in the
region. Although Shell made its decision
before Shale Crescent USA formed, officials say the facility serves as a model for
the type of results the regional economic
development effort seeks to achieve.
OOGA Director of Public Relations
Mike Chadsey, who works closely with
Shale Crescent USA, touts the economic
chain reaction that such a major industrial
project can spark.
"The PTT Global Chemical ethane
cracker plant proposed on the Ohio River,
that's upwards of 10,000 construction jobs
simply to build it and hundreds of permanent
jobs to keep it running," he says. "That, in
and of itself, is impactful. But what it will
do once it is operational for the Mid-Ohio
Valley is the real impact. A cracker does
not only create plastics, it creates jobs and
manufacturing, and manufacturing is what
the Mid-Ohio Valley knows best. We make
things and we fix things. That's what we
need to get back to."
While affordable energy and easy access to water and transportation routes



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