Still, I think making sense of what the real impact to all of this is an awful lot more complicated, or nuanced, than people want to make it.. An interesting story on the economic impact of Marcellus Shale in the region was in the Trib earlier in the week focusing on the indirect impact from pipeline manufacturing. Headline sounds like it is talking about the big economic impact. Yet if you read it, its main points say a) US Steel tubular production is down a decent chunk of late, and b) a new plant being built for pipeline production is out in Loraine, OH.. so Cleveburgh close, but still out of the region and even so is said to generate all of 100 new permanent jobs when completed. That is about the size of net new job creation on the 5th floor of Presby this coming year I suspect.
It does point out there is one full shift working hard at a new pipeline plant in Ohio owned by TMK IPSCO. That is some solid impact and some incidental work in Beaver County. Yet if you recall our history which includes how a generation of steel barons spun off their new wealth locally and gave their name to just about everything. Not quite sure that will happen in this case where the new profit from those plants has long been making more news in Russia than here.
I really wonder if the subtle message in that story was at the end where it pointed out the reference the industry is making to past natural gas booms in the region. Might not have been intentional??
For the ultimate insight into what the industry itself expects for its future, note the story about how the folks like Chesapeake are hedging 96% of their output for 2011. (I didn't believe that myself, but see page 28 of Chesapeake's own investor presentation) That is the type of thing more insightful to my inner energy analyst than anything else out there. So the folks most in the know are pretty much shouting that prices are going to be plummeting.
Maybe ebay is more efficient a market than some give it credit for.. still no offers on the Marcellus rights on our NY State ebay listing. I need to give that listing a name, sort of like NPR's 'Toxie'. We will have to see if anyone makes a bid before it expires in a few days.
Update... A new name. Ben the intern says I should name the real estate in NY Marcel the Shale.
Finally.. not sure why this didn't make news here, but it looks like Gulf Oil's return to Pittsburgh had shareholder approval yesterday. A big deal in the Marcellus biz in the state.