Reputation is Everything - - And West Virginia's is on the Rise
West Virginia's reputation for investment potential is ranked fifth highest in the world - - at least regarding oil and gas exploration and production. A report recently issued by the Fraser Institute found that the Mountain State is one of the most attractive areas to invest in the oil and gas production and exploration industry, only behind Texas, Oklahoma, North Dakota, and Newfoundland/Labrador. The report presents the results of an annual survey of petroleum industry executives and production facilities in various jurisdictions around the globe.What is great about this report is that it represents the perception from inside the industry - - and who would know better?West Virginia's ranking increased significantly from the 2016 survey due to more positive views on the quality of its geological database, labor availability and skills, and fiscal terms.
Couple this announcement with the recent news of an enormous $83.7 billion investment from China Energy, and I'd say West Virginia is ending 2017 on a high note!While there is still much to learn about the China Energy investment, what we do know is that it will focus on downstream uses of natural gas, including electricity generation, petrochemical manufacturing, and the storage of natural gas liquids.The advancement of these projects will change the business environment in West Virginia; we will produce, process, market, manufacture, and distribute the final products here. We will be a one stop shop for manufacturing plastics and other highly valued commodities, providing high paying, technical jobs and returning the benefits to our local communities.
Both announcements send a strong message that West Virginia is primed for growth and investment opportunities and that potential is being realized around the world. Step-by-step we are making progress in realizing the full potential of the vast natural resources on which we are sitting. And the bottom line:thousands of jobs, billions of dollars back into the state economy, and a changed landscape for our state, our children, and our reputation of being the last one picked on the playground.Many things must fall in to place for all of this to occur.But one thing is for sure, we are on our way and the world is noticing.I can't wait to see what happens in 2018.