New website connects small businesses with shale boom

    A new web­site aims to con­nect Pennsylvania’s bur­geon­ing nat­ural gas indus­try with local small and medium sized busi­nesses. The Mar­cel­lus Shale Coali­tion launched “Mar­cel­lus on Main Street,” today along with sev­eral eco­nomic devel­op­ment groups across the state.

    A new web­site aims to con­nect Pennsylvania’s bur­geon­ing nat­ural gas indus­try with local small and medium sized busi­nesses. The Mar­cel­lus Shale Coali­tion launched “Mar­cel­lus on Main Street,” today along with sev­eral eco­nomic devel­op­ment groups across the state.

    Speak­ing to mem­bers of the Greater Philadel­phia Cham­ber of Com­merce, Mar­cel­lus Shale Coali­tion pres­i­dent Kathryn Klaber said local busi­nesses can use the direc­tory to gain a foothold in the gas drilling boom. For exam­ple, Klaber says pipeline con­struc­tion will be expand­ing despite the drop in price for nat­ural gas.

    “There’s a lot of mid-stream gath­er­ing infra­struc­ture yet to be put in place,” said Klaber. “And the last num­ber I heard was that there’s about 700 wells drilled that are not yet deliv­er­ing gas to mar­ket. And in many places that’s because that gath­er­ing infra­struc­ture is not yet built up to go from the well­head to those larger trunk lines.”

    Klaber focused on the sup­ply chain that would be needed to not only sup­port new pipeline con­struc­tion, but also water deliv­er­ies and new con­struc­tion projects. A par­tic­i­pant from the engi­neer­ing firm URS Cor­po­ra­tion said his com­pany has grown 5000 per­cent due to Mar­cel­lus development.

    The Berwyn, Pa., build­ing com­pany Mod­Space, also sees new oppor­tu­ni­ties. Ron Wag­ner is the vice pres­i­dent for mar­ket­ing with Mod­Space, which con­structs tem­po­rary and per­ma­nent mod­u­lar buildings.

    “What we see our­selves doing, is sup­port the [drilling] job site,” said Wag­ner. “So we can put in tem­po­rary offices that the work­ers can use. And we can help build the pro­cess­ing plants.”

    Wag­ner says his com­pany will also be tak­ing advan­tage of the pop­u­la­tion boom in drilling areas.

    “The more peo­ple come into town, they’re gonna need places to work, they’re going to need places for their kids to go to school,” said Wagner.

    The Mar­cel­lus Shale Coali­tion also held events Tues­day in John­stown, Williamsport, Wash­ing­ton, and Cran­berry Township.

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