Ascent Resources and the Ohio Oil and Gas Association hosted U.S. Congressman Bill Johnson on a tour of a Utica shale drilling rig in Guernsey County.
After proceeding through security and watching a safety video, the tour commenced with a walk around the well pad to see the various pieces of equipment on site and how the pad is laid out to ensure safety and efficiency. Next the group checked in with the crew in what is known in the industry as the “doghouse” for a visit. It was there that the Congressman first commented on the impressive technology in place to protect Ohio’s precious water resources. Here, the driller showed the congressman how they take the pipe downhole, what precautions they use during the process and how intricate the equipment used really is.
While everyone was watching and listening to the crew explain what was happening the gentleman at the controls offered up he was from Ohio and he pointed to the group on the rig floor and shared that they were all from the tristate region. Hiring local is part of an industry wide effort in Ohio to ensure that qualified workers for the tristate area find meaningful employment in the industry that is working in their towns. According to the latest state data, over 200,000 are employed in shale related jobs in Ohio.
After a tour around the drilling floor it was back down to check out the various pumps, machines and equipment used to drill a horizontal well. All along the tour, it was pointed out the various measures in place to protect safety the workers, watershed and our shared environment.
According to Amanda Finn, Government Affairs Manager at Ascent Resources, “we host these kind of tours to ensure our elected officials at all levels understand what it is we do, how we do it and the incredible economic activity we create when we set up in a given area.”
At the conclusion of the official tour, the entire group gathered to answer questions that were posed by the Congressman about various aspects of the industry, the state of Ohio’s oil and gas industry and how things have been since coming out of the downturn.
Mike Chadsey, Director of Public Relations for the Ohio Oil and Gas Association shared that, “OOGA is grateful for the Congressman taking time out of his busy travel schedule to stop by an active well pad in Guernsey County to take a tour and ask intelligent questions about the industry and discuss current production from Ohio’s producers.”
Ascent owns 9 of the top 10 producing natural gas wells in Ohio per the latest report from the Ohio Department of Natural Resources and they are a growing company with over 200 employees in Oklahoma City and over 100 here in Cambridge. They, like other producers, while coming out of a long downturn are reinvesting in Ohio by purchasing assets from other companies such as their recent acquisition of the Hess and CNX joint venture acreage. They are still a single play operator only drilling in the Utica in Ohio.