OOGA discusses industry innovation, economic development

CAMBRIDGE — Many new technical developments have been happening in the oil and gas industry recently, and the Ohio Oil and Gas Association has been busy keeping members apprised of innovations and techniques as the industry expands in eastern Ohio.

OOGA, a trade association with more than 2,000 members involved in all aspects of the exploration, production and development of oil and gas resources within the state of Ohio, hosted its seventh annual Technical Conference at the Pritchard Laughlin Civic Center in Cambridge on Nov. 2. According to OOGA Communications Coordinator Lyndsey Kleven, attendance and enthusiasm at the conference has gone steadily up over the last few years. The conference featured speaker presentations and panel discussions about topics impacting the oil and gas industry, as well as industry exhibitors and technical presentations. The main sponsor of the event was the International Union of Operating Engineers Local 18.

“Our technical conference is about sharing information to make our industry better and more efficient. It was truly a great event this year,” said OOGA Executive Vice President Shawn Bennett. “This year we had presentation from all aspects of our industry so there was something there for all our members.”

Presentation topics ranged from how to manage emergency situations such as slippage at a gas meter station, minimizing costs and maximizing assets for salt water disposal wells, understanding the geological variables to know the best place to drill in the Utica/Point Pleasant shale play, capacity control for reciprocating compressors, groundwater analysis techniques, and using active microbial products to enhance oil recovery and control paraffin accumulation in oil wells.

Representatives from Lightning Master Corporation gave a presentation on their development of an “innovative, in-pipe turbine generator that generates electrical power by recovering energy from gas or other fluids flowing through a pipe.” The unit is designed to operate unattended at remote locations that have limited or no access to commercial power.

Bryce Custer, President of Petrochemical & Energy Services, Ohio River Corridor, Inc., spoke to conference attendees about site selection criteria for petrochemical and energy services facilities. His presentation compared the Ohio, West Virginia and Pennsylvania region to the successful Mont Belview, Texas area, and emphasized the need for rail, river and interstates plus a skilled workforce as key factors in choosing sites for projects.

“We are beginning to see a renaissance along the Ohio River Corridor. Dormant steel factories, power plants and industrial sites are being remediated and repurposed for the advent of industries related to the shale gas industry,” said Custer, who also serves as Real Estate Advisor, Energy Services for NAI Spring. “The Shell petrochemical plant under construction in Monaca, Pennsylvania is providing additional interest in the entire Ohio River and Appalachian basin area.”

Custer said he thinks the area will soon go from the “rust belt to the plastic belt,” and will be the “new normal” for the area.

“This area has the key criteria for site selection in terms of abundant and low cost feedstock, many suitable sites, ongoing infrastructure upgrades, a skilled workforce and most importantly, our proximity to customers along with local and state incentives,” Custer added.

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