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Gov. Earl Ray Tomblin today released the West Virginia Edge Business Report. The report documents the state’s economic progress. The January 2014 report highlights projects and related announcements from businesses both large and small that will assist with the creation of new jobs and the preservation of existing jobs.

West Virginia ranks among top 10 gas producing states, says federal report. West Virginia ranks among the country’s top 10 natural gas producing states. From 2011 to 2012, West Virginia boosted its natural gas production by 146 billion cubic feet (Bcf) of additional marketed gas, according to a report from the U.S. Energy Information Administration. The 37 percent increase bumped the state from 11th to the top 10 in 2012.

Energy companies announce natural gas activities. Energy companies report activities in natural gas, especially related to Marcellus Shale formations.

Dominion has contracted to deliver 500 million cubic feet per day of natural gas produced in West Virginia to Ohio. The gas will be drilled primarily from sites in West Virginia’s Lewis, Harrison, Gilmer and Ritchie counties. Dominion also reached agreements with two natural gas producers to lease approximately 100,000 acres of Marcellus Shale rights in West Virginia.

Noble Energy announced it expects capital spending to rise to $4.8 billion, an increase of 23 percent, in 2014. A portion of that budget will be spent on the wet gas area of the Marcellus Shale. Sales volumes from the company’s Marcellus Shale operations in southwest Pennsylvania and northwest West Virginia are expected to nearly double.

Deadline for 2014 Shale Gas Innovation Contest set for Feb. 1. The 2014 Shale Gas Innovation Competition is looking for the four best shale gas-oriented innovations, new product ideas, or service concepts that are either in the development stage or recently launched. Winners will receive one of four $25,000 cash prizes.

The contest is open to researchers, entrepreneurs and innovators in West Virginia and Pennsylvania. The contest is designed to encourage the development of new technologies from the Marcellus and Utica shales and enhance environmental responsibility. The deadline for applications is Feb. 1, 2014. To enter, visit www.sgicc.org and click on the $100,000 Shale Gas Innovation Contest tab.

IBEX Global hiring 250 for positions in Charleston. IBEX Global is hiring 250 people for its business process outsourcing center in Charleston. An expanded contract with an existing client generated the need for increased staffing in IT technology support, according to the company. Training will be provided. For more information or to apply, visit http://ibexglobal.com/. IBEX Global currently employs 827 workers in its centers in Beckley, Charleston and Elkins.

West Virginia Bioscience Summit set for Jan. 28. The Bioscience Association of West Virginia will hold the fourth annual West Virginia Bioscience Summit. The event kicks off Monday, Jan. 27, with a networking reception at 6 p.m. at the Embassy Suites Hotel in Charleston. The conference gets underway Tuesday, Jan. 28, at 8 a.m. The event showcases research and commercialization efforts taking place at West Virginia universities and private companies. To register, visit www.biowv.org.

WVEDA approves $16.5 million in loans for two businesses. The West Virginia Economic Development Authority (WVEDA) approved new loans totaling $16,507,300 for two companies during its December 2013 meeting:

– Carbonyx International USA, $15 million, to finance new equipment for its new facility that will be near the Jackson County Maritime and Industrial Center in Ravenswood. Established in 2012, Carbonyx International will manufacture Cokonyx™, a carbon alloy substitute for coke in the steelmaking process. Established in 2012, Carbonyx International is a subsidiary of Carbonyx Inc.

– Multicoat Products, $1,507,300, to finance equipment for its expansion in a facility in the Putnam County Industrial Park, Fraziers Bottom. Multicoat Corporation produces a line of concrete restoration and waterproofing products for pools, spas, decks and similar structures. Multicoat began operations in California in 1988.

WVDO promotes state industries at trade shows in 2014. The West Virginia Development Office (WVDO) is scheduled to exhibit in several trade shows to promote state industries.

– InformEx Conference 2014 runs Jan. 21 – 24 in Miami Beach, Fla., serving professionals in the international fine, specialty and custom chemical marketplace.

– The 2014 North American Prospect Expo (NAPE) takes place in Houston, Texas, Feb. 4 – 7. The world’s largest exploration and production (upstream) expo, NAPE Expo provides a marketplace for the buying, selling and trading of oil and gas prospects and producing properties.

– Shared Services and Outsourcing Week 2014 — set for March 12 -14 in Orlando, Fla. — draws shared services and outsourcing professionals from more than 50 countries.

– Modex 2014 is set for March 17 – 20 in Atlanta. The show is one of the largest global manufacturing, distribution and supply chain expos in North America.

– The West Virginia Expo, a general business event, takes place in Charleston, March 26- 27.