Pennsylvania

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New Website Connects Small Businesses With Shale Boom

Marcellus Shale Coalition

Susan Phillips / StateImpactPA

Marcellus Shale Coalition president Kathryn Klaber speaks to the Greater Philadelphia Chamber of Commerce.

A new website aims to connect Pennsylvania’s burgeoning natural gas industry with local small and medium sized businesses. The Marcellus Shale Coalition launched “Marcellus on Main Street,” today along with several economic development groups across the state.

Speaking to members of the Greater Philadelphia Chamber of Commerce, Marcellus Shale Coalition president Kathryn Klaber said local businesses can use the directory to gain a foothold in the gas drilling boom. For example, Klaber says pipeline construction will be expanding despite the drop in price for natural gas.

“There’s a lot of mid-stream gathering infrastructure yet to be put in place,” said Klaber. “And the last number I heard was that there’s about 700 wells drilled that are not yet delivering gas to market. And in many places that’s because that gathering infrastructure is not yet built up to go from the wellhead to those larger trunk lines.”

Klaber focused on the supply chain that would be needed to not only support new pipeline construction, but also water deliveries and new construction projects. Andrew Leitzinger, an executive with the engineering firm URS Corporation, said his company’s Marcellus Shale oil and gas related business has grown 5000 percent since 2008. Leitzinger says drilling activity has allowed the company to hire about 60 new employees in Pennsylvania.

The Berwyn, Pa., building company ModSpace, also sees new opportunities. Ron Wagner is the vice president for marketing with ModSpace, which constructs temporary and permanent modular buildings.

“What we see ourselves doing, is support the [drilling] job site,” said Wagner.  ”So we can put in temporary offices that the workers can use. And we can help build the processing plants.”

Wagner says his company will also be taking advantage of the population boom in drilling areas.

“The more people come into town, they’re gonna need places to work, they’re going to need places for their kids to go to school,” said Wagner.

The Marcellus Shale Coalition also held events Tuesday in Johnstown, Williamsport, Washington, and Cranberry Township.

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