Regional Chamber to Facilitate API Certification
YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio -- The Youngstown/Warren Regional Chamber is talking with a Houston consulting firm in hopes of soon scheduling the region’s first three-day course to help local manufacturers become certified by the American Petroleum Institute.
“Once you’re an API-certified company, it makes the opportunities in the oil and gas industry that much better,” says Eric Planey, the chamber’s vice president of international business attraction.
Planey and Sarah Boyarko, chamber vice president of economic development, business retention and expansion, spent three days in Houston last week meeting with representatives of energy companies and trade associations.
“They want to see the chamber and Ohio agencies assist with local companies becoming certified in areas such as API standards so they can use local supply chains,” Planey reports. “Not only is it good community practice to use local supply chains, it reduces overall costs.”
The three-day course on API standards could take place as soon as March, according to Planey. The chamber plans to work with the Ohio Shale Coalition, a division of the Ohio Chamber, “to put together the event, the details and logistics,” he notes.
Companies completing the course would then begin working through an API-certification checklist, “making sure their processes of manufacturing are compliant with that checklist. ...It’s a daunting and arduous process,” Planey says, that ends with API officials inspecting a manufacturing facility to determine if it meets certification standards.
Planey and Boyarko held 13 “very productive” meetings with various entities during their three days in Houston, they report.
“We had the opportunity to promote local Valley companies that have the ability to service and supply these prospects,” Planey says.
“We expect several company and agency visits to take place in first quarter.”
In reporting on their trip, Planey and Boyarko did not identify the companies and industry groups they visited. According to the chamber, their itinerary included:
- Several manufacturers of components in upstream, midstream, and downstream oil and gas activities.
- A financial services firm that caters to investment in the oilfield industry.
- A global oilfield service company.
- A large developer of mid-stream processing systems.
- A well-established law firm that has significant experience in Ohio law for the energy industry.
- A consultancy that assists companies with API certifications for the shale supply chain.
- The Canadian Government’s office of the Trade Commissioner for Energy.
“One of the things they learned is a better sense of appreciation of where the Mahoning Valley is relative to other points in the Marcellus and Utica shale plays,” Planey says. “That changed their perceptions of logistics and gave them a sense of urgency that maybe they need to come up here and kick the tires from a location logistical standpoint.”
Adds Boyarko, “The visit assisted us in accessing the decision-makers at the manufacturing firms. They appreciated us coming to Houston so they can better understand what they need to do to make sound and profitable investments in the Utica and Marcellus plays. Likewise, they went out of their way to inform us of other opportunities they see the Mahoning Valley benefitting from. Our list of follow-up from this trip is extensive.”
The trip to Houston followed the chamber’s participation in the Ohio Oil & Gas Association’s recent trade show in Cleveland, where chamber executives met more than 60 companies during the two-day event.
Copyright 2012 The Business Journal, Youngstown, Ohio.
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