The emerging shale-energy industry in eastern Ohio needs geologists, drilling engineers, welders and truck drivers.
And now, a one-stop website will help Ohio residents find and apply for thousands of these and other industry jobs connected to the Utica shale reserves.
A "jobs portal" page on the website of Energy In Depth, Ohio went live yesterday. It features a list of the job types available and the qualifications required, as well as a link to the employment pages of 22 companies, such as Andarko Petroleum, Chesapeake Energy and Dominion East Ohio.
"The link that they provided to our site is an easy way to see what's available at Chesapeake in Ohio as it's searchable by location," Chesapeake spokesman Pete Kenworthy said in an email.
About 200,000 shale energy-related jobs will be created in Ohio through 2015, said Dan Alfaro, spokesman for Energy In Depth, a trade group formed by the Independent Petroleum Association of America.
As the operations grow, so will the listings on the website, he said.
However, other studies predict far fewer new jobs from the shale industry.
A study by the Ohio Shale Coalition said the industry will create or support 65,680 jobs by 2014, and an Ohio State University study put the number at 20,000.
Energy In Depth's 200,000 estimate comes from a 2011 study commissioned by the Ohio Oil & Gas Energy Education Program. Those jobs will come from the leasing, royalties, exploration, drilling, production and pipeline-construction activities involved in mining the Utica shale reserve, according to the study.
Shale operations are further along in Pennsylvania than Ohio. Total employment related to its Marcellus shale reserves was 238,400 at the end of 2011, said the state's Department of Labor & Industry.
The average annual salary of those directly involved in drilling, extraction and pipeline construction was about $81,000, while the average salary for ancillary jobs was about $64,000, according to figures from the same department.
Development of Ohio's shale-gas industry is occurring on several fronts.For example, Chesapeake recently purchased 291 acres near Canton to build its Ohio field office. The company had about 40 employees in Ohio at the start of 2011 and now has about 400, Kenworthy said.
Of the 300 job openings on Chesapeake's website yesterday, 20 were in Ohio and included openings for a directional driller, electrical specialist, dispatcher, survey specialist, truck driver and field manager.
Energy In Depth supports the use of horizontal drilling, including hydraulic fracturing -- or " fracking"-- to extract oil and gas from shale in Ohio and other states.
Several environmental organizations have expressed concerns about fracking.
"There are risks associated with this," said Melanie Houston, the Ohio Environmental Council's director of water policy and environmental health.
Those concerns include the quantity of water used for fracking and the possibility of contamination, as well as increased air pollution from all the diesel-truck trips required.
The address of the new jobs website is www.-eidohio.org/jobsite.
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