For three days at the end of September, Pittsburgh was at the epicenter of the oil and gas world as the sixth annual edition of Shale Insight 2016 came to the David L Lawrence Convention Center. Keynote speaker for the event was presidential candidate Donald Trump, who told a largely sympathetic audience that he favored cutting regulation on the oil and gas industry to unlock “America’s treasure trove of untapped energy.”
“There is no bigger issue in our economy then energy,” Marcellus Shale Coalition President David Spigelmyer told the conference. “It’s driving policy everywhere. These are issues every American has on their front burner right now. They know that energy is the driver for Americans to be affluent, to create wealth, and that’s something we’re doing right here at home.”
Over 1,200 oil and gas industry representatives attended the three-day event, and with the industry struggling to deal with the impact of depressed natural gas commodity prices, special emphasis was placed on devising strategies to develop the gas and oil infrastructure necessary to reduce the cost of delivering product to market.
A wide range of conference seminars addressed a diverse list of topics including the development of pipelines and other key elements of future infrastructure, devising business strategies for dealing with regulatory challenges, identifying new customers and strengthening existing customer bases in today’s challenging market conditions and finding new ways to attract a capable, well-trained workforce.
In addition to Republican candidate Trump’s address, other featured conference speakers included Marathon Petroleum CEO Gary Heminger and Continental Resources CEO Harold Hamm.
Over seventy exhibitors took part in the conference’s Natural Gas Use Marketplace, which showcased the latest products and services available to advance shale gas development in the region, and conference attendees left Pittsburgh feeling optimistic about the outlook for the future of gas production in the region. According to Shawn Bennett, Executive Vice President of the Ohio Oil and Gas Association, a co-sponsor of the conference, “The oil and gas industry is the springboard to a better future, so we have to make sure we capitalize on this opportunity and keep moving forward.”