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Friday, August 28, 2009

Water Treatment, Roads Challenge Gas Industry

twogasguysAs energy companies continue to move into Potter County for exploration and production, they are anticipating some major challenges in the coming year: lack of water treatment facilities, substandard rural roads, and a need for skilled workers. None of these challenges is expected to stand in the way of expanded production of natural gas from Marcellus shale, according to three industry officials who spoke at a public meeting in Coudersport on Thursday night. Geologists Scott Blauvelt (left) of East Resources and Damian Piaschyk of Pennsylvania General Energy Company both confirmed that their companies plan to expand their presence in the county and remain active here for decades. They see the current slowdown due to low gas prices as a temporary condition.

Lou D’Amico (below), executive director of the Independent Oil and Gas Association of Pennsylvania, said that between recycling and treatment at state-approved facilities, the industry has been able to dispose of millions of gallons of wastewater created from Marcellus shale gas well hydrofracturing. However, D’Amico added, as production ramps up, there will be a need for additional treatment capacity not currently available in Pennsylvania.

loudamatoshale1He said gas companies have been working with township officials to rebuild some rural roads so that they are capable of accommodating drilling rigs and other heavy equipment. D’Amico encouraged local education leaders and public officials to develop workforce training programs that will allow the gas industry to hire its employees from the local labor force, rather than importing skilled laborers from the South.

He said the gas industry’s future in Pennsylvania is bright, forecasting that the state will evolve from an importer of gas from other states to an exporter that can profit from other states’ needs.

The three industry representatives appeared on behalf of the state’s Marcellus Shale Committee, which was formed last year by two statewide trade organizations to educate local officials, landowners, and others on the production of Marcellus shale natural gas. Potter County Today


Anonymous said...

We keep hearing about the need for skilled workers. But we don't hear what kind of skilled workers will be needed. Some of us would like to begin training for these skilled jobs. Anybody have any info?

Anonymous said...

i attended, very interesting meeting. one of our county commissioners point blank asked this question during the meeting they don't seem to get much love on this site so i feel its important to point out that they were all there. the same commissioner publicly invited these companies to set up shop in Potter County, i really appreciated him doing that.

anyhow, to answer the question; carpenters, truck drivers, surveyors, lawyers, welders, retailers come to mind to answer the first question. naturally geologists and hydro-geologists would be a fit.

one thing that really caught my attention was the need for frac water treatment facilities to handle the waste water. currently, they ship the water to warren via truck. seems to me if someone was willing to take the HUGE initial hit to get a facility up and running locally they could "clean up" both literally and figuratively!

i encourage you all to attend any future meetings.

Anonymous said...

clean up would be right since warren charges between three and four hundred a load and they take i belive between 75 and a 100 trucks a day i think coudersport would be a good place to have one mainly for the jobs

Anonymous said...

I would bet that there are government moneys available that would allow the Boro to upgrade the current treatment plant to handle disposal of this water and give the county another way to increase revenue from drilling without cutting into the profit margin of the drillers by taxing them.Try being pro active instead of committee crazy!