RV Parks Pop Up in Ohio Valley for “Transient” Shale Workers

Although drilling activity has slowed in many locations in the Marcellus/Utica Shale region, in some places it just keeps booming. Like Belmont and Monroe counties in Ohio. How do we know? Just take a look at the rise of “Oil City” located right next to the Ohio Valley Mall in St. Clairsville (Belmont County), OH. Oil City has 120 RVs and campers–all of them workers in the Utica and Marcellus gas fields. They are “transients” in the sense that new workers come in as other workers leave. Some are even from (gasp) “foreign” locations like Texas and Oklahoma (see OH Gov. Kasich Continues Trash Talk Out-of-State Workers). The words transient and foreigner are used by some as a pejorative to denigrate hard-working oilfield workers, blaming them for rowdiness and even for spreading STDs (see Is There a Link Between Fracking & STDs in Ohio?). How are oilfield transients perceived by the locals in the Ohio Valley area? A Monroe County official said this about the 350 transient oilfield workers living in RV parks in his county: “We’ve received little to no negative feedback. Most of them seem to work long hours, so they aren’t around all that much. They fit in pretty well.” So much for those who object to “foreigners” and “transients”…

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