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    Economic impact of shale development in Ohio on the rise

    Columbus, Ohio – Bricker & Eckler LLP today published the fourth edition of its "Shale Economic Development Overview - Spring 2015," a report detailing more than $28 billion in investments in Ohio as a direct result of shale development. This represents a 40 percent increase in the total investments since the Fall of 2014.

    “Despite recent fluctuations in oil prices, the number of shale projects in Ohio continues to grow,” said Matt Warnock, Bricker partner and co-chair of the firm’s Oil and Gas Industry Group. “Further—and somewhat surprising—we haven’t seen any significant slowdown in the number of high-dollar projects. All of this bodes well for Ohio, particularly the southeastern region of the state.”

    “The activity we have witnessed in the last six months has diverted from a focus on exploration and production to downstream infrastructure,” says Aaron Bruggeman, Bricker attorney based in the firm’s Barnesville office. “We continue to see an increase in the number of pipeline projects, particularly interstate lines, gathering facilities, compressor stations and related investments.”

    The firm published the first edition of its report in October 2013, at which time it identified $12.2 billion in new shale-related projects. Since then, the cumulative total grew to $16.8 billion in the Spring of 2014, $22.3 billion in the Fall of 2014, and now well over $28 billion. Most importantly, this total fails to take into account the dozens of projects with unknown values and the potentially multi-billion ethane cracker plant recently announced by Governor John Kasich as being slated for construction in Belmont County. As part of this project, PTT Global Chemical and Marubeni Corp. plan to spend approximately $150 million for engineering and permit work to determine if the project will move forward. If it does, the companies estimate it will bring several hundred permanent jobs, “several thousand construction jobs” and a total investment of “several billion dollars.”

    “Development of Ohio’s shale play has created a positive and significant economic impact on southeast Ohio,” said Chris Schmenk, Bricker attorney and President of Argus Growth Consultants. “We are closely tracking the progress of this industry and are working hand-in-hand with many of the impacted communities to help them turn this activity into long-term growth and stability.”