Shale Successes and Surprises
Development of the Marcellus Shale has benefitted Pennsylvanians in communities and businesses across the state. Read some local success stories and you'll be pleasantly surprised at some of the individuals that are benefitting from Marcellus natural gas production:
The shale gale eventually swept Lue Ann Pawlick. "I wanted to start something," she said. "I saw all of this activity taking place because of shale, and I wanted to be a direct part of it." It promised to be a smooth transition. Pawlick is executive director of the Middle Monongahela Industrial Development Association, assisting companies and growing jobs. For 21 years, she's been taking care of business every day. Now she's tending to her own enterprise.
- "Boomerang" is how Bill Polacek, President of Environmental Tank and Containers, summarizes the employment impact in Johnstown, citing “We expect to hire 50 to 100 more in the next year and a half,” The company, which opened in 2011, manufactures equipment used in the midstream stages of oil and gas drilling. Its products include above-ground impediments, frack tanks, sand separators and API 12-F storage tanks.
Bill Polacek, president of Environmental Tank and Containers - See more at: http://keystoneenergyforum.com/article/building-tanks-and-a-workforce#sthash.VM4e9pGX.dpufBill Polacek, president of Environmental Tank and Containers - See more at: http://keystoneenergyforum.com/article/building-tanks-and-a-workforce#sthash.VM4e9pGX.dpuf
- Pennsylvania higher educational institutions recognize the importance of energy development not only to the Keystone state, but also to students across the nation as they develop programs to train our nation's next generation of energy leaders. St. Francis University, Lackawanna College and Mansfield University are among the colleges which have established petroleum and natural gas programs for students.
- Power to Save December 2013: Natural Gas and Business. WNEP reports on how area business and residents are benefiting from the natural gas boom in Susquehanna County. View the video here.
- Mark D. Caskey's company, Steel Nation Inc., is almost fully devoted to the Western Pennsylvania region's oil and natural gas revival. It designs and builds compressor stations that dot the area, the warehouse-like buildings that are home to engines that push natural gas through transmission pipelines running around the clock. They make a whir that can pierce the country silence, and Steel Nation's buildings are designed to stop the noise. It's been revolutionary for the company.
- Companies are finding second callings through the Marcellus Shale. Twin Pines CEO Bob Kovalchik changed his company's products to produce hydraulic fracturing spare parts and repair services, such as consumables known as cement plugs and hammer union seals. And Bill Powers, founder and CEO of PixController Inc, producer of outdoor, self-contained, battery-operated, wireless monitoring systems says “We have to reinvent ourselves continuously.”
- Natural gas drilling has brought new revenue into the predominantly rural county of Susquehanna County, enabling the upgrade of a local hospital; spurring sales of fertilizer and grass seed for restoring land from drilling; and allowing homeowners to pay off bills. But a minority of residents remain leery of potential environmental damage, while oil and natural gas companies doing their best to be responsive and communicative. To read stories from local residents, click here.
- The Procter & Gamble plant in Wyoming County, which produces Pampers and Luvs diapers and Charmin toilet paper, will be 100 percent energy self-sufficient by 2013 by tapping into Marcellus Shale gas that lays beneath its property to power its operations.
- Rig workers need to eat and a local gourmet chef, Christopher Somerville, serves Laceyville workers in his delivery-type truck with big black letters spelling "The Rig". "I've got over 250 food items on the truck that can make over 1,100 deviations in under 12 minutes," Somerville said. "I have over 150 sauce bases that I can create over 1,100 different sauces."
Sales of manufactured gas-development materials help companies in the area diversify and tap into the lucrative energy-development market. "Drilling is here to stay, there is money to be made and the opportunity is definitely there," said Teri Ooms, director of the Institute for Public Policy and Economic Development, a regional research and analysis agency. "It's creating jobs and putting money back into the area."
- Shell Oil Co. is evaluating a site in Beaver County's Potter Township near Monaca for a plant, which would take advantage of Marcellus shale natural gas excavation by turning drilling byproducts into useful chemicals, such as the feedstock for products made out of plastic. "In plastics, this is a game where pennies matter," cites Bill Adams, president of Adams Manufacturing Corp. "There will be all sorts of cottage industries that will spring up because of this," said Butler County Controller John McMillin. "There will be a lot of cross-border pollination."
- The Williamsport Chamber of Commerce president said he never has seen an economic boom such as the one creating lines at local restaurants, no vacancies at area hotels and a general optimism among many capitalizing on the area's expanding gas and oil industry.
- The Marcellus Shale industry has not only brought countless new businesses and jobs to the community, but also a wave of generosity and compassion to organizations such as the Lycoming County United Way (LCUW) . Companies and employees have donated both money and time to help members in their community through services provided by LCUW. According to Kate Pachaca of LCUW, "LCUW funds 43 local human service programs throughout Lycoming County and we couldn't do it without the kindness and generosity of folks like this".
- Success sometimes start with the simplest ideas to fill a pertinent need. That's what happened with Rigmaids' founder, David Pfleegor. Pfleegor opened a cleaning business, Rigmaids, marketed specifically for energy companies in Pennsylvania's northern tier. With insurance, workers' compensation, safety equipment and clothing, he has built a reputable cleaning company, with currently 10 employees and hoping to grow to 20 this year.
- As demand for compressed natural gas (CNG) for fueling grows, so does the market for "steel pressure vessels", or containers, to store and transport industrial gases such as hydrogen, helium and argon, as well as CNG. Shipments of vessels from CP Industries to hold CNG are up 28 percent from a year ago. The company has 111 employees and plans to add crane operators, quality control workers and others as sales increase.
- With demand popping for vehicles involved with Marcellus Shale drilling, J&J Truck Bodies & Trailers is expanding its manufacturing work force by up to 80 people in 2012, including skilled welders, mechanics, fabricators, industrial painters and general laborers.
- It began a little more than a year ago, along the banks of Walburn Run north of Brockway. There was one primary product there were three employees. Today, "it" (Superior Hose & Fittings, now Superior Energy Resources) has three major divisions with 105 employees providing around-the-clock service to customers in four states. Their products? Rig mats - the base on which rigs are mounted - are customized to drillers' needs and can cover as much as 40,000 square feet or more. Hose and fittings and pumps and "everything customers need to conduct fluid or air transfer". Gas field services installs environmental liners. And the company continues to expand.
- In business for 50 years, family-owned Dura-Bond, located in Export, anticipates 10 percent growth this year in its tubular business, due to expanded growth in the Marcellus and Bakken Shale formations. Dura-Bond is positioned to take advantage of demand for large industrial pipe to transport natural gas from wellheads to trunk lines, and for the coating required to protect pipe against corrosion.
- In business since 1937, Cleveland Brothers, a family-owned company that provides heavy equipment, did not see the natural gas industry as a target market five (5) years ago. With development of the Marcellus Shale, however, the company's number of employees has grown by about 30 percent to more than 1,100 at the company's 27 locations throughout Pennsylvania and West Virginia. Cleveland Brothers' inventory includes earth moving equipment to get sites ready to bring in drilling rigs and equipment to get infrastructure in place to lay pipeline to transport natural gas harvested from wells.
- They call them "gumbanders" -- Pennsylvanians who went away for a decade or two but have been pulled back. The Marcellus Shale is bringing Pennsylvanians home, not only to good jobs, but also to an area where they can raise their children and root for their hometown Steelers and Pirates.
- Local colleges are training students to fill jobs in the Marcellus Shale. Watch this video to see what Lackawanna College is doing to help Pennsylvanians.
- Towns, such as Cranberry Township, are experiencing the benefits of the "trickle-down" effect from Marcellus Shale development. And even more importantly, they are seeing long-term job stability with the establishment of corporate offices that will stay long after the drilling is complete. Cranberry Township manager, Jerry Andree, originally predicted that each job created by a corporate office move, such as Westinghouse, would create nine spin-off jobs. They are seeing those jobs from environmental engineers, water treatment companies and equipment manufacturers to restaurants, dry cleaners, childcare providers, and a host of other local businesses.
- Residents and business people of Mansfield, Pennsylvania discuss the central role that the natural gas industry has played in creating jobs and boosting the local economy in this video. Mansfield, PA can continue to see these economic benefits through continued exploration of the Marcellus Shale.
- Lycoming County is one of many areas experiencing "a new path to prosperity," in the words of Jack Moran, owner of the Old Mill manufacturing corridor in Mongtgomery Borough, which is rebuilding to support Marcellus Shale development. And according to the Sun Gazette, between June and September, CareerLink in Lycoming County reported 596 new hirings, including 214 directly attributed to gas-related positions.
Do you have a success story to share? Contact us and let us know how the Marcellus Shale has benefitted you or your community!