CLEARFIELD – Representatives from the state Department of Community and Economic Development (DCED) visited the Clearfield County Economic Development Corp. (CCEDC) to learn about the economic impact of the unconventional oil and gas industry in Clearfield County and North Central Pennsylvania.
The visit was a part of a four-day DCED on the Road Tour through North Central’s six-county region and highlighted development projects.
During the visit to Clearfield County, representatives of the DCED, the Governor’s Action Team and the state Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) were greeted by Clearfield County Commissioners John Sobel and Joan Robinson-McMillen and State Rep. Tommy Sankey (R-74).
A meeting convened at the CCEDC office for a presentation by Paul McCloskey, vice president of Energy, to showcase the impacts Clearfield County has reaped as a result of shale development, according to Robert A. Swales, chief executive officer of the CCEDC.
The presentation, Swales stated, was immediately followed by a personal tour provided by David Schultz, plant manager for Forum Energy Technologies, located in the Clearfield Fireman’s Industrial Park.
“Since December of 2011, the facility has transformed into a state-of-the-art production facility to support Forum’s increased demand for customized gas production equipment serving not only the Marcellus and Utica shale activity, but also to support and enhance our production services in other shale deposits in Texas and the Midwest,” stated Schultz.
“In less than two years, the new plant has created 128 full-time jobs to date, and we look forward to partnering with Forum for future growth plans. These jobs were created as a direct result of the Marcellus Shale activity in Pennsylvania,” stated Swales.
Despite the decline in natural gas prices, Forum continues to produce a multitude of oil and gas processing equipment to serve primarily the Marcellus and Utica shale deposits. Additionally, manufacturing from this plant also serves massive shale deposits in the Midwest and Southern United States, such as the Eagle Ford, Barnett and Bakken regions.
The 95,000-square foot, 19-acre site easily accommodates expansion opportunities. Schultz stated, “We are actively hiring qualified personnel in the fields of welding, assembly, painting and quality control to continue adding to our local workforce.”
After that, DCED representatives shuttled to an active well site in S.B. Elliott State Park that is conducted by Nathan Well Sr., a safety and environment representative. There, they toured a four-head well pad and a site compressor station operated by EOG Resources Inc.
Wells explained the benefits of horizontal drilling versus vertical and single-well drilling. Wells showed the officials a display casing, touting the multi-layer protective case used for the drilling process. DCED representatives were surprised to see the limited footprint comprised of the well site and the attention placed on the reclamation process.
The CCEDC is a private non-profit, membership organization serving the business and industry of Clearfield County to promote job creation, job retention and to enhance the economic base of Clearfield County.