Belmont College sets the stage for inaugural OVOGA meeting

ST. CLAIRSVILLE – Belmont College recently played host to the Ohio Valley Oil and Gas Association (OVOGA) Inaugural Association Membership Event on March 1 at the main campus location in St. Clairsville.

“The board of directors of the OVOGA is excited to kick off the organization with this inaugural association membership event,” said Matt Steele, OVOGA president. “We sincerely appreciate the generosity of Belmont College to host and help plan this event for the association, of which they are a member.”

OVOGA is an association for education, networking, and business development in the oil and gas industry. The organization is an alliance of businesses whose mission is to overcome any and all challenges in support of oil and gas production and distribution in the Eastern Ohio, Northern West Virginia, and Western Pennsylvania region.

“As an institution of higher education, we are excited to be a part of this association,” said Dr. Joseph E. Bukowski, Belmont College president. “The college will soon begin offering courses and services through our Energy Institute which will be a training program focused on the oil and gas drilling industry.”

The association supports the production of oil and gas in three ways: through the use of locally based businesses and employees; as a resource to match needs of the oil and gas producers and distributors with local providers; and as a resource for new business entities intending to serve the oil and gas industry.

“In recent years the discovery of advanced methods for extracting oil and natural gas has made our region a valuable asset in the quest for affordable energy,” said Steele. “This quest has resulted in the need for an association that represents the interests of the businesses and organizations of the Ohio Valley and to promote their relationships with the oil and gas industry.

“It is our intent that this will be an ongoing association that benefits members by constantly promoting membership services to the local oil and gas industry, as well as developing business relationships through networking and educational events,” Steele continued. “The association will also be a resource for the oil and gas industry by providing local contacts for goods and services, so that they do not have to bring in suppliers and service providers from other regions of the country.”

Speakers for the inaugural event included Michael McCown, vice president – Northeast, Gastar Exploration Ltd.; and Jenn Klein, manager – Government Relations, Chesapeake Energy.