Midwest's natural gas may boost manufacturing Consumers often hear news stories about oil from the politically unstable Middle East or to the north in Canada or Alaska, but few may be aware that there are massive quantities of natural gas in the heartland of America. The Midwest is slowly seeing growth in oil production, and the discovery of this natural resource could bring manufacturing back to several states in the region.

Growing through the region
For years, manufacturers have moved out of the Midwestern states - the cost reduction seen by moving production facilities overseas was too great to ignore. However, with new technologies such as fracking (a common name for hydraulic fracturing) that make oil extraction much easier, some manufacturing plants may be headed back to the Midwest to take advantage of a plentiful supply of natural gas and the ease of sourcing that comes with being located by a major oil refinery.

With the latest techniques allowing oil companies to access natural gas in areas where old processes were impossible, the fossil fuel industry has the potential to surge in many areas of the Midwest. The production of this resource is on the rise in parts of Ohio, West Virginia and western Pennsylvania. North Dakota is also experiencing a huge boom due to natural gas discoveries.

Fossil fuels could bring back manufacturing
With the amount of natural gas being discovered in the Midwestern region of the country, it's no surprise that some manufacturers are considering returning to the area to do business - especially those that rely heavily on fossil fuels to produce their goods. Companies that make products such as fertilizers and chemicals often rely on natural gas in their manufacturing process, while companies that make goods such as glass and steel use quite a bit of the resource for energy to power their facilities.

Moving companies near major oil sources in the Midwest may help companies to keep their costs lower and could simplify the sourcing process. While the direct material cost for natural gas may remain the same, shipping and logistical expenses could be drastically reduced when a plant is located next to a gas production facility.

Even though green technologies like wind, solar and geothermal energy may be the way of the future, for many companies these are currently not a viable option. The abundance and cheaper production of natural gas have made this resource a major player in the future of manufacturing throughout the Midwest.
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