Natural-Gas Drilling Brings Ohio Mill Back to Life

A $650 million steel mill in Ohio that has been shuttered for 34 years will reopen as the the region prepares for a natural gas drilling boom. The announcement came on the heels of a new report by TransCanada that its KeystoneXL project will create 20,000 new jobs.

Vallourec SA’s V&M Star mill is expected to employ 350 workers who will help produce seamless pipes used in natural-gas hydraulic fracturing, which is also called fracking, according to Bloomberg Businessweek.

Aubrey K. McClendon, chief executive officer of Chesapeake Energy Corporation, told the news agency that fracking has the potential to generate $22 billion in Ohio by 2015.

“This will be the biggest thing to hit the state of Ohio economically since maybe the plow,” McClendon stressed.

Meanwhile, officials at TransCanada Corporation are hoping a new report will satisfy critics of its proposed KeystoneXL pipeline project, a $7 billion, 1,600 mile line that would run from Alberta to the U.S. Gulf Coast.

The Wall Street Journal reports that the company is predicting the controversial project will create 13,000 construction another 7,000  manufacturing jobs once it is approved. President Barack Obama is expected to make a decision on the proposal by the end of February.