“The shale industry is hiring local workforce—that’s going to keep the money in the community…”
Building pipelines to support the shale industry has contributed over one million working hours so far in 2015 for laborers in Ohio, according to the Laborer’s International Union of North America (LiUNA) in Ohio. The industry group expects that pipeline construction will constitute three million working hours in 2016 as well, reports Energy In Depth (EID).
Pipe construction is just one of many trades experiencing a rise in working hours around the shale industry. “Over the past four years, approximately 600,000 man hours, per year, have been attributed to shale gas related work,” said Butch Taylor, Business Manager for the United Association of Plumbers and Pipefitters. Other trades, like the International Union of Operating Engineers and the United Association are also expecting more business from the shale industry, with $8 billion in pipeline investment by the oil and gas industry expected to create more demand for skilled labor, reports EID.
The 17,000 member group in Ohio has been doing work for American Energy Partners, Antero Resources (ticker: AR), Chesapeake Energy (ticker: CHK), MarkWest Energy Partners (ticker: MWE), Kinder Morgan (ticker: KMI) and other pipeline majors. “The shale industry is hiring local workforce,” said Ray Hipsher, Pipeline Specialist at the Ohio Laborers District Council. “That’s going to keep the money in the community.”
The total number of construction jobs in Ohio during May reached 192.2 thousand, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, down 2.2% from April. Unemployment in Ohio held steady from April to May at 5.2%, below the national average of 5.5%.
The need for rapidly expanding oil and gas infrastructure in Ohio is due in large part to the Utica Shale play, which runs into the eastern portion of the state. The geology of the Utica changes on an almost country-by-county basis, but the resources in Ohio are mostly liquids-rich condensate. To learn more about one of the prolific shale plays in the U.S., read Oil & Gas 360’s® in-depth look at the Utica here.