The New Normal

By: Ashley Clawson / April 9, 2018

Categories: oil/gas infrastructure, fracking, shale, hydraulric fracking

Ashley Clawson

Written by

Ashley Clawson

My background that has been split between roles in procurement, operations, and sales allows me to understand my customers' needs in unique ways. I want to exceed my customers' needs every day by finding long term solutions to allow them to develop their businesses.


Hydraulic fracking is taking over the landscape of Western Pennsylvania, Eastern Ohio, and northern West Virginia - an area now referred to as the Shale Crescent USA. Areas that were built on a combination of industrial manufacturing and coal mining are seeing a major resurgence through the use of modern fracking technology.

While horizontal drilling and fracking have been around for decades, the combination of both are allowing companies to extract reserves of natural gas and oil from shale formations. While fracking is still a highly debated issue, it cannot be denied that it is changing today's energy industry.

"The link between hydraulic fracturing and U.S. global leadership in oil and natural gas production is direct: Without fracking, there'd be no American energy renaissance - or the array of benefits it is providing to our economy, to individual households, U.S. manufacturers and other businesses. Modern hydraulic fracturing - fracking has been used commercially for nearly 70 years - is the technological engine behind surging U.S. oil and natural gas output." [1] 

This American energy renaissance is creating an environment that forces companies to advance their technology or be left behind. Recently, FirstEnergy Solutions declared bankruptcy citing fracking as one of the major contributors. "The company said its coal and nuclear plants cannot compete against new natural gas-fueled electrical plants. Hydraulic fracturing, or fracking, of underground shale created a glut of natural gas that is cheaper than coal or nuclear, the company said, and also caused electricity prices to plummet." [2] 

[1] <>.

[1] Mackinnon, Jim. "Lights to stay on as FirstEnergy Solutions cites fracking as a leading cause of bankruptcy." <>.

Companies are being forced to adapt to changing market economics and conditions or run the risk of becoming extinct. The way technology advancements solidified the fate of Blockbuster could again run its course through the energy industry.

Fracking allows access to reserves that were once considered unreachable in areas like the Shale Crescent that needed to attract new industry to survive. The abundant supply of natural gas has moved the U.S. into a position of being a net exporter of the product for the first time in nearly 60 years. The rise in exports allows prices in the U.S. to remain low. "The advantages of affordable energy are really invaluable: so important that they cannot be measured. That's because disposable income is the basis of our economic growth, and money is the basis of our health." [1] 

The American energy renaissance is changing the economy of not only a small area in Appalachia but the entire economics of the United States. These energy jobs are bringing growth to an area that was not in a position to thrive.

[1] Clemente, Jude. Forbes. "Marcellus Natural Gas Lowers Bill for All Americans." <>.


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