NEW YORK (April 22, 2016) – Gov. Earl Ray Tomblin and U.S. Senator Joe Manchin, in conjunction with the West Virginia Department of Commerce and the Discover the Real West Virginia Foundation, today hosted a luncheon with Japanese business leaders to highlight the strong partnership between West Virginia and Japan and to explore new investment opportunities in West Virginia’s growing natural gas industry.
“Today’s luncheon marked the celebration of a shared vision between our state and Japan that has continued to foster and grow for nearly three decades. This long-term partnership continues to play a critical role in our state’s economy, as Japanese investments help strengthen our workforce and create jobs for hardworking West Virginians,” Gov. Tomblin said. “I was privileged to be joined by executives from Energy Corporation of America and MarkWest Energy Partners to share with potential Japanese investors the wide array of opportunities in our state’s growing natural gas sector. I look forward to continue working with Japanese companies to find innovative ways to capitalize on this abundant resource and explore new development opportunities.”
The luncheon’s feature segment on West Virginia’s growing shale gas industry included keynote presentations by Kyle Mork, president of Energy Corporation of America, and James Crews, vice president of Northeast Business Development with MarkWest Energy Partners. Mork provided attendees with an overview of the exploration and production stages of shale gas development in West Virginia, and Crews highlighted the Appalachian Basin’s abundant resources and low cost structure for processing, storing and transporting shale gas.
“Today’s economic conference highlights the strength of West Virginia’s 30 year partnership with Japan that has helped create jobs for hardworking West Virginians and helped to diversify our economy,” Senator Manchin said. “The importance of natural gas and the Marcellus shale to West Virginia is growing and our state has a real opportunity to remain a leader in the global energy conversation. I’m confident that if we work together in a collaborative way we can continue to be an energy leader in the years ahead.”
The event was well received with nearly 100 in attendance, representing dozens of Japanese companies, as well as members of the Japanese Chamber of Commerce; Ambassador of the Consulate General of Japan in New York; local Japanese business leaders; representatives from Japanese companies with operations in West Virginia; and dozens of prospective investors.