What a weekend, everyone! I spent Saturday at the Northern Tier Expo in Troy, PA, and the message I took home from the event was very clear: natural gas is providing an epic transformation of employment opportunities in Pennsylvania by providing high-quality jobs for Pennsylvanians of all backgrounds.
There were over 300 companies at the event, sponsored by Chesapeake and Talisman. And boy, was there a lot to see — from simple displays to trucks and heavy machinery right there on site! Around 1,000 people showed up before it was all said and done — just to see what the vendors had to offer and learn a little more about the industry. It was an incredible experience.
The most impressive part was the diversity of companies that had tables at the expo. There were the companies you would expect to see like the trucking, pipeline, hosing, erosion control, storage tanks, site liner, and fracturing companies. There were also safety specialty companies, like DiVal and Premier, in addition to companies that construct well casings and others that rent out heavy machinery or do welding. In fact, service companies from every facet of industry associated with natural gas production were on hand with displays to show both operators and local residents the businesses and services they provide as well as employment opportunities they have.
But, importantly, there were other companies and organizations that had booths too. Realtors, lawyers, banks and financial consulting companies were there to reach out to the local community. I saw graphic printing shops, web site directory services, gas stations, chiropractors, hearing specialty services, hospitals, newspapers and even Gas Odyssey director, Aaron Price, had a table. Keystone Energy Forum, a favorite of ours here at EID, was there with a table explaining their site and research. Senator Gene Yaw had a booth to talk about legislation and his views on natural gas. Communication companies were there to showcase how to get service on site in remote locations. You get the idea?
It showed just how far reaching the impact of the natural gas industry in the Northern Tier has become. Literally every business has been effected! Consider this story from Williams Oil and Propane and how gas has helped them:
C&G Wilcox, a jewelry company in Towanda, PA was showcasing their innovative products that industry employees say you can’t find anywhere else in the country. Incredibly, they make natural gas related jewelry and other merchandise that has helped their small business to boom in recent years. I will be following up with Cindy and Gary shortly because they have such an interesting story to tell and one little mention is not enough to give you the full view of their business and lives.
A lot of the companies had signs displaying “Hiring” – how about that? Another thing I saw was companies showcasing new technologies that are going to change the way the industry works in Pennsylvania and across the country, all of them having to do with waste removal. Watch in the next couple of months for a post from Rob Smith of Big West Oilfield Services (Troy) where he will describe an amazing innovation that is being developed for on site recycling of recovered fracturing fluid. I don’t want to give anything away, but it is truly amazing what his company is working on.
I heard of another company that is working on taking the drill bits that come out of the process and turning them into asphalt to repave the roads. And you have to watch the following video of the innovative way that Wellspring Environmental is not only recycling site liners, but reducing truck traffic at the same time.
So as you can see, I had a pretty eventful day, met some great people with awesome ideas, and even got to walk out with a few samples for Bill and I to show you at future events. We will keep you posted on future expos in our coverage area so that you can get out and see for yourself the positive impact the natural gas industry is having on local economies, as well as the equipment they are using to do it. And, to see all of the pictures I took at the event, visit our Twitter and Facebook sites.