University of Pittsburgh
June 5, 2012

Pitt Paper Examines Marcellus Shale Exploration Supply Chain to Help Identify Opportunities for Regional Business

Research finds successful businesses in supply chain need strong safety record, flexibility, and solid financial standing
Contact:  412-624-4147

PITTSBURGH—In an effort to help regional businesses understand potential direct and indirect opportunities in the Marcellus Shale exploration supply chain, researchers at the University of Pittsburgh today released a Pitt Business Working Paper titled “Understanding the Marcellus Shale Supply Chain.”

“The study was undertaken to help companies better understand the various components of the shale industry and to examine the macroeconomic forces that impact the supply and demand of the industry,” said Shaun M. Seydor, associate director of the Joseph M. Katz Graduate School of Business and College of Business Administration’s Institute for Entrepreneurial Excellence (IEE). “The study goes beyond the physical drilling.”

The report identifies the supply chain’s phases, as follows: exploration; leasing, acquisition, and permitting; site construction; drilling; hydraulic fracturing; extraction and production; transport and processing; storage; distribution; and marketing.

The research is a compilation and analysis of public information, industry expert interviews, and feedback from industry and supply-chain companies.

Additionally, Seydor (BUS ’07G, GSPIA ’12G) said the report identified the most successful businesses within the supply chain as having excellent safety records and strong balance sheets and being responsive and flexible.

Catalyst ConnectionSM funded the paper, authored by Seydor, IEE Management Consultant Eric Clements, and IEE graduate student consultants Spyros Pantelemonitis and Vinay Deshpande, as well as MBA students in a Spring 2012 Project Course.

Catalyst Connection is a nonprofit manufacturing-consulting group that aims to advance the performance of manufacturing companies in Southwestern Pennsylvania. Catalyst Connection Managing Director of Business Growth Services Connie Palucka (BUS ’88G) said the report was developed with small and midsized manufacturers in mind, especially those interested in realigning their existing businesses to include the shale industry.

“We wanted to provide a resource for businesses interested in learning about the requirements to become a supplier and the expectations of owners and contractors in this industry,” Palucka said. “This is an effort to build a repository of market research for our region’s businesses.”

The Working Paper can be viewed at

Pitt Business Working Papers are developed in the context of literature reviews, scoping studies, and, occasionally, issue-oriented studies. These papers are not peer reviewed, and the views expressed are those of the authors and do not necessarily represent those of Pitt Business or the University of Pittsburgh.

Pitt Business comprises the Joseph M. Katz Graduate School of Business and College of Business Administration, as well as five education and research centers, including IEE.



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