Ohio Gov. John Kasich Jazzed About Chesapeake Striking Oil in the Utica Shale – Refers to Potential Out-of-State Workers as “Foreigners”

Ohio’s Gov. John Kasich is jazzed about Chesapeake Energy’s announcement of striking oil in the Utica Shale in eastern Ohio. But he also has issued a warning to Chesapeake and other drillers about the makeup of the work crews who will be populating well pads:

Gov. John Kasich is calling an energy company’s announcement that an eastern Ohio natural gas deposit could be worth $20 billion thrilling news for the state.

Kasich is also making clear he wants jobs created to extract the natural gas to go to Ohioans, including minorities, and not people from other states.

"I don’t want any foreigners working on wellheads," Kasich said Friday in a speech at the Columbus Metropolitan Club. "Foreigners are people who come from Pennsylvania, Maryland, West Virginia and Kentucky, and those distant foreigners from Texas."

On Thursday, Oklahoma City-based Chesapeake Energy Corp. announced it believes the 1.25 million acres the company has leased above the Utica Shale formation in eastern Ohio is worth $15 billion to $20 billion.

Chesapeake currently operates five Utica Shale rigs, expects to expand that to eight by year’s end and anticipates up to 20 rigs by the end of next year. The company said it believes its leases can support 40 rigs by the end of 2014.*

MDN is all for jobs going to local residents—that’s one of the chief benefits of Marcellus and Utica Shale drilling. But initially, it often takes people from other states to get things set up and moving along—people with experience. People who know how to safely do it—while teaching locals how to do it.

MDN finds it a tad hypocritical for Gov. Kasich (someone whom MDN admires) to not want any “foreigners” working in his state, but is certainly happy to accept the Oklahoma-based “foreigner” Chesapeake and their discovery and investment in his state. What gives gov?

*Marion Star (Jul 31, 2011) – Ohio governor gushes over new natural gas find