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Fueling Canton's Economic Future

By Tom Stewart
Released/Published: Jul 24, 2012

Ohio is on the verge of a new energy-based, economy driven by oil and natural gas production. Though exploration of the Utica shale, an oil-and-gas rich rock formation thousands of feet below the topsoil of eastern Ohio, is still in the early stages, many communities throughout the area are already beginning to experience the positive economic impact of expanding oil and gas activity. 

With more than 9 gas wells drilled in Stark county alone during 2011, the Canton area is quickly becoming a case study for how an infusion of capital investment and economic growth from oil and gas development can revitalize a community.

Examples of economic development related to oil and gas activity can be seen throughout the Canton area. With Chesapeake Energy securing a Downtown Canton office last year and the Timken Company's recent ground breaking for the expansion of its steel mill, this is just the beginning for the "Utica Capital" of Ohio. 

According to a recent report for the Ohio Geological Survey, Stark County rests upon a portion of Utica shale that could be rich in valuable natural-gas liquids such as butane, ethane, and propane. Simply put, Stark County and the City of Canton are the "sweet spot" when it comes to oil and gas exploration, which could make the area even more attractive to new businesses.

Though oil and gas production is not new in the Canton area and is home to the Alliance Petroleum and GonzOil--two independent companies who have been producing oil and gas in eastern Ohio for more than 20 years--many residents have questions and concerns about safety and environmental protection in regard to drilling activity.

Ohio has some of the strictest gas and oil laws and regulations in the nation and the operators doing business here take every precaution to minimize environmental impact, to ensure the safety of the public and their employees. 

If energy exploration continues to flourish in the state, all Ohioans will prosper from decreasing natural gas producers are proud to be part of this opportunity that has the potential to ensure a brighter economic future for not only the citizens of Canton, but for all Ohioans.