Much has changed over the past 12 months as the price of natural gas collapsed and many in the industry have fled to more profitable, oil-rich basins.
“It's put some pressure on that investment,” Klaber said of the Marcellus and other rock formations rich with dry gas. “We have to be that much more competitive. The wells have to produce that much better. The regulations have to be that much more straightforward.”
While low prices have wrecked the bottom line for thousands of natural gas companies throughout the country, Klaber said it's not all bad for the industry.
“That low natural gas price has brought along interest in a wide range of companies and industries,” she said. “We're generating much more electricity now from natural gas. You have heightened interest in transportation fuel. You're also seeing new manufacturing in Pennsylvania.”
Pennsylvania Gov. Tom Corbett opened the conference by praising the natural gas industry with a reference to Col. Edwin Drake, who is credited with drilling the country's first oil well in Titusville, Penn.
“I'm convinced that we are at the beginning of a new industrial revolution and you are the tip of the spear,” Corbett said. “It can bring us jobs and bring us prosperity while protecting the state. I'm convinced that this generation of Pennsylvanians can complete the journey that Col. Drake began.”