Rising natural gas production is helping to revitalize the energy hub across the Ohio Valley, a region that straddles West Virginia, Pennsylvania and Ohio. This is quite a turnaround for a place that not too long ago experienced high unemployment from manufacturers moving away from the tristate area.
But today’s energy revolution is fueling an economic renaissance, creating jobs and opportunities for a new generation of workers and even attracting former residents back home. Indeed, jobs in Ohio’s energy industry alone, fueled by shale production, increased 171 percent from 2011 to 2017.
That shale production has been concentrated in Belmont County, Ohio. Investments there have topped any other county with $696 million and 58 new wells between January and June of last year.
The momentum and job creation from the new energy production have rippled across the valley as natural gas operations have cemented community ties and spurred economic development. Local restaurants, commerce and lodging in areas like St. Clairsville, Ohio, have flourished.
XTO Energy, a subsidiary of ExxonMobil, is a major natural gas player in the Ohio Valley. It has invested millions in road and infrastructure improvements, education, medical care, emergency responders, environmental research and arts and civic organizations to help continue the area’s growth. In response, communities are finding more patrons as feelings of prosperity trickle across these towns.
Watch the video below to learn more about the recent growth of the Ohio Valley.