Petrochemicals & Shale Development

The Youngstown-Warren region is the state’s leader, with more than 30 percent of the oil and natural gas supply chain. From 2010 through 2014, as drilling activity in the Marcellus and Utica shale formations flourished, the Regional Chamber assisted in more than $5 billion worth of economic investment in the upstream supply chain, with a substantial amount being direct foreign investment.

As Royal Dutch Shell continues construction on their $6 billion ethane cracker plant nearby on the Ohio River, and the anticipated announcement of more cracker plants on the river, the Mahoning Valley is again poised to capitalize on shale-related development, especially those in the downstream plastics and petrochemical industries.

In 2016, the U.S. passed Russia to become the world’s No. 1 natural gas producer. Almost all of the nation’s growth occurred in the tri-state region that includes Ohio, Pennsylvania and West Virginia. If these three states were a country, it would be the world’s fourth-largest producer of natural gas. Perhaps more importantly, the tri-state also boasts the world’s lowest price for natural gas.

The shale plays mean a reliable, sustainable, low-cost energy supply. Combined with the Mahoning Valley’s abundance of water, prolific transportation infrastructure, political stability and soon, a steady feedstock from ethane cracker plants, the Youngstown-Warren region is one of the most attractive places for all industries.

The tri-state governors signed a memorandum pledging cooperation as the shale development evolves. The Regional Chamber, as a member of the Tri-State Shale Coalition, is an active participant in this spirit of cooperation.

For more information, please visit our Economic Development Data and Reports Library.