WHITE SULPHUR SPRINGS, W.Va. — An energy leader says the possibilities are endless when it comes to the Marcellus shale in West Virginia.
ExxonMobile subsidiary XTO Energy President Randy Cleveland gave the optimistic report at the West Virginia Chamber of Commerce’s annual business summit last week.
“If you combine the Appalachia region of Pennsylvania, West Virginia and Ohio, it will soon become the third largest producing region in the entire world,” Cleveland said.
XTO currently has 50 workers in the natural gas business in West Virginia but the company has approximately 170,000 acres under lease in the state.
“We are just getting started. Our growth here will be tremendous,” Cleveland predicted.
Cleveland said the company wants that growth to happen with trained West Virginia residents. He urged those at the summit to partner with government and education on workforce development efforts especially in the areas of math and science education and technical training.
“By creating a stronger workforce, West Virginia can help more citizens achieve well-paying careers and also create the pool of workers to build out the investments flowing from energy production,” he said.
The opportunities must grow with the job growth according to Cleveland.
“The point is clear as we grow West Virginia jobs we must also be sure to grow opportunities to keep their students right here at home,” he said.