CLEARFIELD – On Oct. 5 Jeffrey Haworth, the executive director of the Department of Mines and Petroleum from the Government of Western Australia, spent the day in Clearfield County learning about best practices relating to unconventional shale gas development and investment opportunities in the county.
Clearly Ahead Development hosted Haworth and coordinated the agenda, which included tours of active Marcellus facilities, numerous industry presentations and meetings with local government officials and community stakeholders.
The day began with a tour of EOG Resources’ Marcellus operations in Lawrence Township. Haworth was able to view an active multi-well pad in production, compressor stations, brine water impoundment, as well as several Marcellus wells that had been drilled but not yet completed.
Following the Marcellus field tour, a networking luncheon was held in Clearfield. Attendees included Haworth, Clearly Ahead Development’s Chief Executive Officer and Vice President of Energy & Business Development, Rob Swales and Paul McCloskey; North Central Export Director Christene Perneski; and Marketing Executive from Pennsylvania’s Office of International Business Development, Jason Hunt.
Swales expressed, “Clearfield County has hosted its share of successful businessmen and foreign dignitaries in 2016 to showcase the talents of our workforce, infrastructure, real estate opportunities and cost-effective resources Clearfield County can offer the world.
“Our discussions have been and continue to be very well received by our international guests and we look forward to further develop these opportunities with the mission to bring jobs to Clearfield County.”
The group then traveled to Clearly Ahead Development’s office, where a presentation about community impacts relating to shale gas drilling was given by Daniel Brockett from Penn State Extension. McCloskey followed up with a presentation about Clearfield County’s assets and investment opportunities relating to shale gas and low-cost energy.
A roundtable discussion then commenced and Haworth was able to ask specific questions to the participants about the shale gas industry. Along with the attendees from the luncheon, the roundtable also included Clearfield County Commissioner John Sobel; former Sandy Township Manager Dick Castonguay; Lawrence Township Supervisor Bill Lawhead; and Director of Planning from the North Central Workforce Development Board Pamela Streich.
Topics of discussion included environmental regulations, workforce development, natural gas market development, uses of the Act 13 impact fee dollars among other subjects.
Sobel noted, “It was interesting to find out that Western Australia is now dealing with many of the same impact issues that Pennsylvania experienced several years ago during the Marcellus boom.
“I guess it really is a small world even though Mr. Haworth and we come from two different sides of the planet. Fostering these types of relationships with our counterparts in other countries will serve to not only share information about current best practices, but will also put Clearfield County on the radar of companies from those countries that may be seeking a location to expand into the U.S. market.”
As part of Clearfield County’s business recruitment strategy on foreign direct investment, Clearly Ahead Development has reached out to more than 11 different countries and has hosted nine site visits from six specific countries in 2016.
Delegation visits include Australia, China, United Kingdom, Canada, India and Nigeria. Clearly Ahead Development is a private, non-profit, membership organization proudly serving the community to create growth and opportunity in Clearfield County.