Oil, gas expo successful

ST. CLAIRSVILLE – The Belmont County commissioners served as host Wednesday for the second annual Ohio Valley Oil and Gas Expo at the James Carnes Center.

Booths were lined up into rows and even packed into a tent outside, sporting items on everything from clothing to equipment that is geared towards the oil and gas industry.

“For the past three years, we have been working with the oil and gas industry, and we have put a lot of effort into trying to maximize what we can capitalize off of the industry for Belmont County beyond the land leases,” said Commissioner Ginny Favede.

“How do we benefit the county by benefiting the businesses, and this is a perfect example – it’s a networking event, a business-to-business event. It’s an opportunity for businesses and business owners and people to come out and network and figure out how they fit into the industry, figure out how to make capital as a business or individual,” she said.

The commissioners opened the event and allowed for businesses to chose whether or not they would like to participate in this event.

“We have everything, we have a lot of businesses that sell products that are utilized in the (oil and gas) business, we have banking, we have real estate,” said Favede. “It’s one of those things that touches all levels of business.”

It was pointed out that many of the real estate agencies are selling more homes to out-of-state people.

“This is our second (Oil and Gas Expo), and we had over 2,000 people come through last year ‘s (expo) and we had a little bit more than that this year,” Favede said.

She indicated that more importantly at Tuesday night’s reception were the success stories that people shared about people who made contacts and met other individuals or passed along contacts from networking last year and how this expo changed their existing businesses in the past year from having that contact.

Van Dyne can be reached at vandyne@timesleaderonline.com.