Nearly 800 local business leaders and citizens gathered in Marietta, Ohio on June 9th at the Peoples Bank Theatre to introduce Shale Crescent USA to the public. Shale Crescent USA is an economic development initiative to encourage business growth in the Mid-Ohio Valley based upon the lowest natural gas prices in the industrialized world that allow manufacturers to operate more efficiently while producing products more economically with access to water and half the population of the United States.

Mark Schwendeman, president of the Schwendeman Agency and one of the original visionaries behind Shale Crescent USA, noted that “the vision from the beginning was to enhance the quality of life for the people of the Mid-Ohio Valley through the creation of new jobs based upon the area’s unique availability of natural resources for a variety of manufacturing industries.”

“This initiative has been two years in the making,” added Schwendeman, “and many people have dedicated a great deal of time to this effort.” Shale Crescent USA is a multi-state economic initiative embracing communities in Ohio and West Virginia.

Natural gas prices in the United States have declined dramatically over the past couple of years compared to prices in Europe and Asia. Natural gas prices have declined even further in the states of Ohio, West Virginia, and Pennsylvania as a result of the Marcellus and Utica Shale plays. The Mid-Ohio Valley now offers the lowest natural gas prices in the industrialized world.

Wally Kandel, senior vice president and Marietta site manager for SOLVAY, believes Shale Crescent USA “is offering a very unique opportunity for petrochemical or other high energy intensive businesses to locate in the Mid-Ohio Valley because of the availability and low costs of natural gas.” Kandel added, “When you couple that with all the other advantages of the Shale Crescent USA such as access to markets, the plentiful water available through the Ohio River, and a hard-working and committed workforce, the Mid-Ohio Valley offers a world-class competitive advantage for companies.”

During the past few years, shale development has set record natural gas production volumes in the United States, driven by the expansion of gas supplies from horizontal drilling in Ohio, West Virginia, and Pennsylvania. This expansion of the Utica and Marcellus Shale plays has accounted for nearly all of the recent growth in America’s natural gas production.

“By the year 2020, we are looking at accounting for 35% of total U.S. Natural Gas Production. This is a world-class asset for any energy intensive industry,” Dr. Benjamin Thomas, Marietta College associate professor of petroleum engineering and geology said.

According to Jerry James, president and CEO of Ohio based Artex Oil Company, “The United States is experiencing unprecedented growth in natural gas production in the Utica and Marcellus shale plays. Many people are not aware that practically all the growth in natural gas production is occurring in Ohio, West Virginia, and Pennsylvania.” James added “This is an unprecedented opportunity for manufacturers because we have the lowest prices of natural gas in the industrialized world.”

Shale Crescent USA is a multi-state initiative offering prospective downstream companies an unparalleled infrastructure including highway access to more than half of the U.S. population, navigable rivers, rail access, a trained and educated workforce, low natural gas prices, a commercial airport and a low cost of living and high quality of living. Shale Crescent USA offers this unusual balance of fast/slow, big/small, and central/secluded. The branding of the area as the Shale Crescent USA is a strategic aspect of the initiative developed to separate the Mid-Ohio Valley from other areas of the country.

To learn more about Shale Crescent USA, visit