Regional Chamber prospects for shale business in Houston

The Youngstown/Warren Regional Chamber spent three days this week meeting with companies and agencies in Houston as part of its efforts to attract shale-related investment to the Mahoning Valley.

The Chamber had 13 meetings with various entities over the period.  They included: several manufacturers of components in oil and gas activities; a financial-services firm that focuses on investment in the oilfield industry; a global oilfield service company; a large developer of processing systems; a law firm that has significant experience in Ohio law for the energy industry; a consultancy that assists companies with API certifications for the shale supply chain; and The Canadian Government’s office of the Trade Commissioner for Energy.

Several of the companies requested meetings with the Chamber officials to learn more about their specific needs for investing in the Utica play. The Chamber group included Sarah Boyarko, vice president of Economic Development, Business Retention and Expansion and Eric Planey, vice president of International Business Attraction and the Chamber’s point person for shale development.

“The visit assisted us in accessing the decision makers at the manufacturing firms,” Boyarko said. “They appreciated us coming to Houston so they can better understand what they need to do to make sound and profitable investments in the Utica and Marcellus plays. Likewise, they went out of their way to inform us of other opportunities that they see the Mahoning Valley benefitting from. Our list of follow-up from this trip is extensive.”

“We also had the ability to promote local Valley companies that have the ability to service and supply these prospects,” Planey said.

The trip to Houston followed the Chamber’s participation in the Ohio Oil & Gas Association’s trade show Dec. 4-6 at the I-X Center in Cleveland. Chamber executives met more than 60 companies over the two-day event at their exhibition space.

© 2012 The Metro Monthly. All rights reserved.

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