The Ohio Oil and Gas Association is holding its annual meeting in Zanesville over the next two days.
Hundreds of attendees including many new members spent the morning hitting the links at the Zanesville Country Club while networking and discussing the trade.
Executive Vice President Tom Stewart said the jump in new membership can be attributed to the development of shale drilling and that the organization is aiming to keep the benefits and rewards in the area.
"Finally we have one great big opportunity after waiting decades that that opportunity should be allowed to happen, that capital expenditure ought to go into the ground here to develop the resource, develop the economic multiplier instead of sending it to Columbus where it would just be passed off to people in the form of a $30 tax break," said Stewart.
Stewart said he believes many land owners are looking to make rational business decisions to service the industry but added that exploration will need to continue in order to know what resources are available.
"We have to drill holes in the ground. There hasn't been enough drilling to really figure that out," said Stewart. "The drilling that's taking place right now I call one of the Biggest research & development projects to hit Ohio in decades."
Stewart added that the oil and gas association is also working to challenge regulations and public policies between government and the oil and gas industry.