How the Natural Gas Sector Helped the Northeast Brave the Polar Vortex

Although the term was relatively unknown until January of 2014, “Polar Vortex” is now a household name throughout the United States. While we were avoiding the outdoors and giving thanks for our warm homes and offices, we may not have taken into consideration just what exactly was playing such an important role in helping us withstand the Polar Vortex. Perhaps unsurprisingly to some, the biggest contributor to keeping us warm enough to brave the bitter cold from the Vortex was our country’s rich natural gas supplies, thanks to fracking.

In early January, nationwide demand for gas reached a record 125 billion cubic feet in just one day. To put this into perspective, a normal early January draw on natural gas inventories reached about 170 billion cubic feet per week. The week of the Polar Vortex, however, natural gas drawdown came close to 310 billion cubic feet, the most ever reported in history.

The record demand for natural gas stretched thin throughout areas of New York, drastically increasing spot prices from a mere $4.25 per mmBTU to a whopping $100 per mmBTU. The price spike was felt as far south as Texas, where spot prices jumped to $40.20 per mmBTU, nearly beating their record set a decade ago. By the time the Polar Vortex had passed, it was abundantly clear that every possible natural gas molecule was needed to brave the cold.

Because they are required by regulators to maintain a supply reserve, natural gas utilities serving homeowners and small businesses get first dibs on gas supplies in times of great need, such as the Polar Vortex. Although the United States has seen colder weather, it has never seen a greater demand for natural gas. We may have come out on top this time, but many energy experts have begun to question what will happen if and when record supply are unable to reach the regions of record demand.

If we can take anything away from the Polar Vortex, it is the knowledge and understanding that the United States, specifically the Northeast, needs more natural gas pipelines. It is in keeping up with trends and nationwide events like these that allows FootBridge Energy to provide the most up-to-date and strategic job market projections to its valued clients and candidates. To learn more about your next possible move in the energy sector, contact FootBridge Energy today!

2014: The Year of the Utica Shale?

As previously discussed, great developments in the oil and gas industry are happening in Ohio. This upcoming year is expected to be especially pivotal in regards to the Utica shale play. According to industry experts, a pipe is already in the ground and processing facilities ready to service 600 drilled wells throughout the region, 250 of which are already producing and 400 yet to be turned on.

Ohio’s shale industry is steadily generating job growth and areas near the Utica shale where drilling and fracking are taking place are among the lowest unemployment rates in the state. In fact, Ohio counties experiencing the most intensive interest and drilling from the Utica shale are seeing unemployment rates drop significantly from their record highs of just a few years back. Although fracking is still a relatively smaller piece of Ohio’s economy, the industry growth in the state is impossible to deny.

Core shale-related industries in Ohio show an increase of more than 30% in job growth from the start of 2011 through the first quarter of 2013. That 30% is equivalent to approximately 1,929 jobs, all in oil and natural gas. As of this pasr December, Ohio has approved 1,030 additional Utica shale permits; of the 658 wells that have already been drilled, 249 are currently in production and a total of 40 rigs are drilling in the state of Ohio.

Exploration and production within the Utica shale play by Ohio’s oil and gas industry has lowered and continues to lower unemployment. A recent study from Ohio’s Cleveland State University even credits the Utica shale fracking and drilling for creating wealth in 8almost all of Ohio’s 88 counties. The same study found that job creation was highest in strong and moderate Utica shale counties and weakest in non-Utica counties.

For experienced oil and natural gas workers skilled in fracking and drilling, Ohio just may be the place to make your next career move. FootBridge Energy takes pride in staying ahead of trends in the ever changing and growing energy industry to help its clients and candidates succeed in their professions. To learn more about getting ahead in your natural gas and oil career with Ohio’s next big boom, contact FootBridge Energy today!

Nuclear Energy Focus of Global Conversations

Shortly before the new year, several of the world’s most renowned climate scientists penned an open letter to their most respected colleagues in the environmental movement. The topic: reversing longstanding opposition to nuclear power. As time goes on and new discoveries come to light, these climate experts agree that wind and solar energy alone simply will not be enough to fend off extreme global warming. Instead, top scientists are urging environmentalists to support the development of safer nuclear power as a viable method for cutting down fossil fuel pollution.

Fortunately for the future of nuclear power, barriers between nuclear energy advocates and antinuclear environmentalists are beginning to fall. Both sides are starting to recognize that not only do they share a common rival, but they also share many common goals. Environmentalists that have long opposed nuclear energy are reevaluating their position while many pronuclear advocates are reevaluating their learned aversion to environmentalism, both as a result of deep concerns regarding climate change.

Today, nuclear energy is broadly recognized by scientists, scholars, and analysts as an environmentally positive technology with in fact many environmental benefits. Solar, wind, and efficiency energy sources are unable to scale up fast enough to deliver the amount of inexpensive and reliable power the world needs. With global warming on the rise and carbon dioxide emissions intensifying at alarming rates, we simply cannot afford to turn away from any sort of technology that has the potential to reduce greenhouse gases.

The scientists behind the open letter acknowledge that there are slight risks associated with using nuclear power; however, they are far smaller than the risks posed by extreme climate change. The vast majority of climate scientists agree that pollution from fossil fuels has increased global temperatures over the last 60 years and emissions need to be drastically reduced to prevent more extreme damage in the future. Experts agree that the solution is to clean up and invest in our nuclear power plants.

With nuclear power plant construction and rebuilding on the horizon, the future continues to look bright for professionals in the energy sector. FootBridge Energy works hard to ensure they are always on the cusp of new energy industry developments so they are consistently able to offer their clients and candidates the best professional guidance in the field. If you are interested in learning more about upcoming jobs in nuclear power, contact the experts at FootBridge Energy today!

Industry News, Strategic Recruiting, and Labor Demand – Top Takeaways from 2013

Perhaps one of the most efficient methods for determining a smart path for success in the new year is taking a look at your business’s highlights from the previous year. Here at FootBridge, we pride ourselves on providing our clients with timely resources on industry news, hiring trends, and best practices for excelling in the energy sector. Although we make it a point to only post useful and relevant content, four of our blog posts in particular stood out and proved to be the most popular among our audience in 2013. For quick reference, we have detailed a handy recap of these posts here:

  • Skilled Labor Demand Increases in Oil and Gas. To this day, skilled labor jobs such as engineers, specialized technicians, project managers, schedulers, and other service workers remain the most in demand jobs in the field. The article explores solutions for energy companies looking to overcome the potential shortage of skilled labor workers including nurturing current employee relationships, implementing mentor programs, and creating and sticking to a strategic staffing plan.
  • A “Lean” Recruiting Process is Essential in Energy. In a niche industry like the energy sector, enlisting the help of an established energy staffing firm to implement a streamlined hiring strategy is absolutely essential for finding, recruiting, hiring, and retaining the best employees.  This article discusses helpful tips to make the most of your relationship with your recruiter such as setting a timeline, working within your timeline, and clearly communicating your staffing needs.
  • Being Short-Staffed is Costing You…Big! A harmful and unfortunately common practice among today’s business owners is failing to devote the necessary time and resources to hiring. This article explores some of the hidden risks of understaffing and explains how partnering with an energy specific staffing firm can help your company save valuable time and money while maintaining productivity.
  • Beware of Your Employees Being Poached! As the need for qualified energy workers and contractors continues to rise, many companies are beginning to look at their competition to find top candidates. While there may not be a magical solution to keep all of your best employees with your company, this article provides valuable insight on how to take preventative action against other companies poaching your contract employees.

Although 2013 was a prosperous and exciting year for the energy industry, we are looking forward to the new developments and opportunities 2014 is certain to bring. At FootBridge Energy, we make sure to always stay one step ahead of the curve so our clients always have access to the most up to date resources on finding and hiring the best energy job candidates. Contact FootBridge Energy today to learn how we can help fulfill your energy staffing needs!