Matt Hammond, the new leader of the Ohio Oil and Gas Association knows the organization is heading in the right direction. He just wants to make sure members and others in the industry know that, also.
In a visit to Cambridge recently, Hammond used the term "demand opportunities" several times. That’s because, despite his recent time in his role as the group’s executive vice president, he’s not a newcomer to the industry and knows that’s the next step for the region.
"We need a message more about the oil and gas product," Hammond said. "We all have to understand how the ripple effect is playing out in Ohio. In Dayton, Cincinnati, they don’t make the connection about how the cost of living has dropped because of the gas and oil industry. Even in those areas, there are construction jobs being created and other industry jobs being created."
"This increase in natural gas creates jobs, whether it’s construction in the initial phase or later in the development phase," Hammond said.
Hammond also touched on regulations, saying the industry needs "strong, reasonable, regulations."
The challenge, according to Hammond, points to "commodity prices. Whether conventional or unconventional, pricing plays a crucial effect on the industry."
He also reviewed progress on the Belmont County cracker plant, saying that if it does come to pass, it would be an enormous economic plus for the Eastern Ohio region.
What he never wants to hear is, "that’s the way we’ve always done it." He strongly feels this is not the direction of the organization.
"That’s not acceptable," Hammond said. "I must have heard that all the time in the beginning. We have to find new ways to show values to members of the Ohio Oil & Gas Association."
Hammond has a penchant for finding a balance spot for conventional operators’ and non-conventional operators’ common interest. "We have a really great collective of knowledge among this Association and it is truly what makes OOGA so great."