Oil and gas boost trickles through countyFebruary 25, 2017
ZANESVILLE – A boost from the oil and gas industry has begun to trickle through Muskingum County again, according to Matt Abbott, director of Zanesville-Muskingum County Port Authority.
“Places like Haliburton and Producers Services are picking up,” Abbott said. “Tilley Pressure Test has purchased nine acres in the EastPointe Business Park with plans to build this spring.”
Tilley Pressure Test, based in Duncan, Okla., was established in 2003 as a family business providing non-destructive testing services for the oil and gas industry. Non-destructive testing is a wide group of analysis techniques used in the science and technology industry to evaluate the properties of a material, component or system without causing damage.
Tilley Pressure Test operates out of eight major oil field areas across North America.
Brian Stewart, northeast regional manager at Tilley Pressure Test, said construction of a 14,000-square-foot facility at EastPointe Business Park is slated to begin in March. The company is expected to employ 15 to 20 individuals.
According to the Division of Oil and Gas Resources Management, 11 new horizontal drilling permits were issued in Belmont, Jefferson, Monroe and Noble counties last week for Utica/Point Pleasant shale, bringing the total number of permits to more than 2,000.
Muskingum County companies like Haliburton and Producer Services is once again reaping the benefits of activity happening in these counties, according to Abbott.
Haliburton brought promise to Muskingum County in 2012 when the company built a facility in the EastPointe Business Park after Utica Shale, part of the Appalachian Basin, became a major natural gas and oil producer. The community reaped the benefits of the oil and gas boom for about three years before drilling slowed down, according to Abbott.
“I think the demand for services in the oil and gas industry will continue to improve as we move forward,” Abbott said. “And I think we will see even more runoff with the new ethane cracker plant in Belmont County.”
Earlier this year, the Ohio Environmental Protection Agency issued Thailand-based PTT Global Chemicals a permit to discharge wastewater into the Ohio River in preparation for the proposed $5.7 billion ethane cracker plant in Belmont County.
A cracker plant takes ethane gas from processors and converts it into polyethylene, a base ingredient for thousands of plastic products. Abbott said the cracker plant could help stimulate the economy in Muskingum County further by attracting plastics manufacturers and suppliers.
Muskingum County ranks number nine in the state with the biggest growth in new jobs according to a recent release by the U.S. Department of Labor statistics. Muskingum County has more than 1,800 employers, employing more than 33,500 individuals. Nearly 1,100 new jobs were created over the 12-month reporting period, from June 2015 to June 2016.
“The average weekly wage was $696,” Abbott said. “That’s roughly $35,000 a year. Many of these jobs are in the health care industry.”
The health care industry, oil and gas services and manufacturing and distribution are the largest contributors to the county’s rank among the top 10, according to Abbott.
“We are in a good position to grow in Muskingum County,” Abbott said. “I think we are going to experience continued economic growth over the next few years.”
From Times Recorder | February 25, 2017