Cabot Oil & Gas Picnic Draws in Thousands

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HARFORD -- A natural gas company hosted its annual picnic on Saturday in Susquehanna County.

Cabot Oil & Gas Corporation hosted its picnic at the Harford Fairgrounds in Harford.

The company, which drills only in Susquehanna County, moved into the area in 2009.

"What we know, is that we're in the sweetest spot of the Marcellus Shale. We as a company are producing over one BCF of natural gas every day," said George Stark, director of external affairs of Cabot Oil & Gas.

Company leaders said the purpose of the picnic is to give neighbors the chance to learn more about the company and the growing natural gas industry.

"We want to make certain that any of our landowners, any of our residents, community leaders, if they've got questions, we want to make an opportunity for them to get answers," Stark said.

Cabot Oil & Gas has a large presence in Susquehanna County.

According to company leaders, at the end of 2012, they had invested more than $2 billion into Susquehanna County.

Stark said the company plans to invest $750 million more in 2013.

"It gives us the opportunity to pay off our property and maybe do some things that we normally wouldn't be able to do," landowner Mike Faillace of Dimmock said.

Faillace isn't the only landowner who stopped by the picnic on Saturday.

"I own quite a bit of land so when the royalties came I was able to retire. That's what a difference it made," said Paul Kelly of Montrose.

At the University of Scranton, officials in the small business development office said they are also seeing an increase in inquiries about the natural gas industry.

"We've definitely seen an increase in requests for small business consulting because of the shale development," said Lisa Hall Zielinski.

The purpose of the picnic on Saturday was also to give local businesses the chance to talk to residents.

Adam Diaz, president of Diaz Companies told Newswatch 16 that his company has grown exponentially thanks to Cabot Oil & Gas.

"Since Cabot moved into the area we've grown about 300 percent since then. We went from approximately 30 employees up to 250 right now," Diaz said.

Despite the controversy that often surrounds the natural gas industry there were no protestors at the event.

Local organizations thanked Cabot for having an event bringing together the company.

Leaders at Cabot said that they plan on being in Susquehanna County for a long time.

"We're here for the long haul. When you think about Cabot in Susquehanna County we plan to be doing operations here for generations. That's how big this is," Stark said.