Wednesday, March 7, 2012

Free Enterprise At Work In Developing The Marcellus Shale

Let this be proof that free enterprise, entreprenuership, and the American Spirit is not dead yet.  My hats off to all the smart and hard working people developing the Marcellus Shale, creating jobs, generating wealth, lowering our energy bills, lessening our dependence on foreign oil, and trying to keep the American economy afloat.  Someone should tell the good folks in Washington, D.C.

March 7, 2012 | PERMALINK | @MarcellusGas

What They’re Saying: Marcellus on Main Street Demonstrates That The “Entrepreneurial Spirit is Alive and Well”

·         “Web-based tool will further connect the dots between Main Street and the natural gas industry”
·         New website “designed to help small and medium-sized businesses become part of the natural gas supply chain”

·         “The entrepreneurial spirit is alive and well in the Marcellus”

Canonsburg, PA – With hundreds of small- and mid-sized businesses turning out at five separate and concurrent events yesterday, news outlets across the region took note of Marcellus on Main Street, a new web-based tool developed by the Marcellus Shale Coalition (MSC) to further connect the natural gas industry and Main Street businesses across the region. Partnering with regional chambers of commerce and economic development organizations, the MSC co-hosted events in Philadelphia, Williamsport, Johnstown, Washington and Cranberry Township. Following are several media highlights from yesterday’s Marcellus on Main Street events, which focused on creating and identifying even more small business opportunities tied to responsible American natural gas production.

·         “New Online Directory Links Drilling Industry, Local Suppliers”: Marcellus on Main Street, an initiative of the Marcellus Shale Coalition, is designed to put regional businesses seeking to become part of the supply chain in touch with natural gas drillers looking for everything from worker accommodations to tank manufacturers to hauling services. “We want to help create the success stories,” said Dave Brocious, director of membership and training for the [Marcellus Shale] Coalition. “We want to get the message out that this is a positive economic impact for the area.” … “Just the supply-chain opportunities that have been presented are exciting times across Pennsylvania and Ohio,” [Johnstown Area Regional Industries] President Linda Thomson said. (Johnstown Tribune-Democrat, 3/6/12)

·         “Marcellus Business Directory Unveiled” at Greater Philadelphia Chamber of Commerce: The Marcellus Shale Coalition on Tuesday unveiled an online business directory of small and medium-size firms that want to be part of the shale gas economy. The aim of the Marcellus on Main Street site is to facilitate connections among businesses in the supply chain, Kathryn Klaber, the coalition's president, told a gathering Tuesday at the Greater Philadelphia Chamber of Commerce, one of five events announcing the site. (Philadelphia Inquirer, 3/6/12)

·       “New Program Connects Small Businesses With Gas Industry”: The Marcellus Shale Coalition on Tuesday launched the first online business directory designed to connect the natural gas industry with small- and medium-sized regional companies. Marcellus on Main Street provides a list of various business types for workers who might not be familiar with the area, as a way to promote the smaller local businesses. "Small local businesses will be able to reach out to oil and gas companies," Eric Cowden, community outreach manager, said. "That's our intent. It's going to work." … Cowden said companies can map out all of their the needs along the way on a trip across the "Marcellus Shale footprint." (Williamsport Sun-Gazette, 3/7/12)
MSC Main Street

Click HERE to Watch WJAC-TV’s Coverage of Yesterday’s
Marcellus on Main Street Event in Johnstown
·        Natural Gas “Industry Debuts Marcellus to Main Street Initiative”: The website provides a directory of places where gas industry professionals can look not only for work opportunities, but also places to live and play in the multi-state region encompassing the Marcellus shale gas play. Kathryn Klaber, president of the Marcellus Shale Coalition, said the initiative is "truly a broad-based economic opportunity. … let's just say the entrepreneurial spirit is alive and well in the Marcellus." (State Journal, 3/6/12)

·         Marcellus “Shale Coalition Reaches out to Main Street Businesses”: During a presentation conducted with the Washington County Chamber of Commerce, Joy Ruff, MSC's community outreach organizer, said the initiative, in the form of the website, is an effort to connect local businesses to members. … "Every business will be in front of our producers across New York, West Virginia, Pennsylvania, Ohio and Maryland," Ruff told a group of about 50 local small business operators. "It's a way of establishing a relationship between our members and the communities where they work." (Washington Observer-Reporter, 3/7/12)
·         Small “Business Directory to Serve as One-Stop-Shop for Natural Gas Industry”: The Marcellus Shale Coalition is rolling out an online business directory of small and medium-size firms that are or want to be part of the oil and gas supply chain. Kathryn Klaber, the coalition’s president, said this is a chance for businesses to be seen by those in the industry. “It really is already an extension with what’s already happening with our associate members,” she said, meaning that full members — oil and gas operators — “look first at the associate member pool” for business services. Now, the idea is that both full and associate members of the coalition will be looking at the companies listed in this database before they look elsewhere.” (Pittsburgh Business Times, 3/6/12)
·         Marcellus Shale Bolstering Small Business Growth, Job Creating: Today, the Marcellus Shale Coalition launched a new website to make it easier for drilling companies to connect with the regions resources. Enter Marcellus on Main Street. A new online initiative designed to connect Small Businesses in the Johnstown Area with the booming natural gas industry. (WWCP-TV, 3/6/12)
·         “New Website Connects Small Businesses With Shale Boom”: Speak­ing to mem­bers of the Greater Philadel­phia Cham­ber of Com­merce, Mar­cel­lus Shale Coali­tion pres­i­dent Kathryn Klaber said local busi­nesses can use the direc­tory to gain a foothold in the gas drilling boom. Klaber focused on the sup­ply chain that would be needed to not only sup­port new pipeline con­struc­tion, but also water deliv­er­ies and new con­struc­tion projects. Andrew Leitzinger, an exec­u­tive with the engi­neer­ing firm URS Cor­po­ra­tion, said his company’s Mar­cel­lus Shale oil and gas related busi­ness has grown 5000 per­cent since 2008. Leitzinger says drilling activ­ity has allowed the com­pany to hire about 60 new employ­ees in Pennsylvania. (NPR/StateImpact, 3/6/12)
·         Coalition Debuts ‘Marcellus on Main Street'. The Marcellus Shale Coalition this morning unveiled "Marcellus on Main Street," an online business directory designed to help small and medium-sized businesses become part of the supply chain of the burgeoning natural gas industry. … Features include a searchable interactive map and links to firms' external websites. "This is really a broad-based economic opportunity," [MSC president Kathryn Klaber] said of Marcellus gas development, and the site will help more companies get involved. (Central Penn Business Journal, 3/6/12)
·         MSC Highlights New Small Business Partnership on Local Radio: Along with hitting several television news programs, the MSC discussed Marcellus on Main Street and supply chain opportunities available for small- and mid-sized businesses in the natural gas industry on local radio yesterday, too. Click HERE to listen to the interview.

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GM Is Catching On....Dual Fuel Pickups, Compressed Natural Gas Or Gasoline

I want heck with those itty-bitty death trap electric toy cars......

Posted Monday, Mar. 05, 2012
General Motors plans to begin taking orders in April for pickups that run on both gasoline and compressed natural gas, potentially reducing costs for users.

The Chevrolet Silverado and GMC Sierra 2500 HD extended-cab pickups will be offered with a 6.0-liter, V-8 engine that can "seamlessly" transition between natural gas and gasoline, the Detroit-based automaker said today.

A vehicle such as the ones GM will offer can save a driver $6,000 to $10,000 in fuel costs over a three-year period because CNG is cheaper than gasoline, said Joyce Mattman, director of GM commercial product and specialty vehicles.
more here

Geosteering Of "Horizontal" Wells

A recent posting on LinkedIn inspired me to elaborate on this subject.  Much more could be written.   The subject under discussion is the drilling of "horizontal" wells, which are so crucial to the great increases in oil and gas production we are now seeing from formerly unproductive shales around the world.  Of course hydraulic fracturing is equally important (and sensational, thus "newsworthy").

I know from experience that it is possible to steer an actively drilling (and fast!) well AND it is possible to keep the drill bit within a few feet, sometimes less, of a desired stratigraphic horizon, "pay zone", or "target".  This is really what determines the success or failure of a well in these new "unconventional" shale plays.

Yes, of course the engineering aspects of drilling and completion are important, (a most respectful hat tip to my engineering friends).  And of course my geophysical seismic-interpreting friends provide an invaluable glimpse into the subsurface before the drilling begins.  However, the real success of these plays is dependent upon a knowledge of the stratigraphy of the rocks.  Some things never change.  I also think this can only be learned and appreciated by looking at rocks in the field, not only via "electric" logs and/or on computer screens.  That is why geologists do field work, sweat, get dirty, and break rocks with hammers.  They should anyway, and the more the better.

So, all new technology, the wondrous ability to turn a well bore from vertical to "horizontal", to follow a layer of rock sometimes only a few feet thick, thousands of feet beneath the surface, all comes down to a geologist knowing "where" that well bore is relative to the local stratigraphy.  If this is not correct, all the best seismic, fracture detection, petrophysics, geochemistry, and hydraulic fracturing are for naught.  If your well bore is in the wrong place you're just "outta luck bubba".

I am sure the successful drillers of all the shale plays being developed know these things and more.  Unfortunately, as is usually the case, whether in the oil and gas business, or the mining industry, the little guys make the discoveries and then the big guys swoop in and buy them out.  Think XTO and Exxon/Mobil, Petrohawk in the Eagle Ford, Brigham in the Bakken, or the beginning of the Barnett Shale play with George Mitchell's Mitchell Energy being acquired by Devon, and the list goes on.  Every oil company in the world wants to know how to produce these shales.  However, I'll share a  secret, it is not all computer software and drilling technology.  The secret lies in Wallace Pratt 's dictum that "Oil is found in the minds of men".  (I must add, men AND women with a knowledge of stratigraphy, and I've had the good fortune of being taught by some of the best, e.g. Dott, Pray, Weimer.... to name a few.)

Wallace Everette Pratt (1885–1981) was a pioneer American petroleum geologist.

from Pete  (source)  Subject: Geosteering & Geonavigating Oil & Gas Wells
 • In an attempt to simplify and clarify, I think most drilling and production challenges are directly related to stratigraphy, or the vertical and lateral changes in the characteristcs of sedimentary rocks. Look at any road cut through a layer of sedimentary rocks, look closely at the detail, then imagine drilling through this. The overwhelming influence on hydrocarbon production by the stratigraphy of the reservoir rocks is immediately apparent.

Therefore, whether "proactive" or retroactive, the most valuable form of geosteering or geonavigation is that which can show the drillers and engineers precisely where they are relative to the known surrounding rock layers (stratigraphy). I know this can be done, simply and inexpensively. The key element is the interpreter as much as the tools. The successful developers of plays like the Barnett, Haynesville, Bakken, Marcellus, and Eagle Ford Shales know this, although they tend to keep quiet about it.


The Permian through Jurassic strata of the Colorado Plateau area of southeastern Utah demonstrate the principles of stratigraphy. These strata make up much of the famous prominent rock formations in widely spaced protected areas such as Capitol Reef National Park and Canyonlands National Park. From top to bottom: Rounded tan domes of the Navajo Sandstone; layered red Kayenta Formation; cliff-forming, vertically jointed, red Wingate Sandstone; slope-forming, purplish Chinle Formation; layered, lighter-red Moenkopi Formation; and white, layered Cutler Formation sandstone. Picture from Glen Canyon National Recreation Area, Utah.