Sunday, November 27, 2011

Ohio Shale Drilling Spurs Job Hopes in Rust Belt

A rare sight in hard-luck Youngstown, a new industrial plant, has generated hope that a surge in oil and natural gas drilling across a multistate region might jump start a revival in Rust Belt manufacturing. The $650 million V&M Star mill, located along a desolate stretch that once was a showcase for American industry, is to open by year's end and produce seamless steel pipes for tapping shale formations.

It will mean 350 new jobs in Youngstown, a northeast Ohio city that is struggling with 11 percent unemployment. V&M Star's parent company Vallourec, based in Boulogne-Billancourt, France, hopes increased interest in shale formations will produce a ready made market. Vast stores of natural gas in the Marcellus and Utica shale formations have set off a rush to grab leases and secure permits to drill. Industry estimates show the Marcellus boom could offer robust job numbers for 50 years.

Similar hopes are alive in Lorain, Ohio, where U.S. Steel will add 100 jobs with a $100 million upgrade of a plant that makes seamless pipe for the construction, oil-gas exploration and production industries. Erin DiPietro, a company spokeswoman in Pittsburgh, said the expansion will make the Lorain operation more competitive and help it tap into expanding shale developments.....Read the entire article.

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