It wasn’t so long ago that MDN told you about the “feel good” story of Universal Well Services, a Meadville (Crawford County), PA company specializing in pressure-pumping wells, cementing well pads and other well services (see Marcellus Supply Chain Success Story: Universal Well Services). Universal is a subsidiary of Patterson-UGI Energy, Inc.–a large oilfield services company. The company had grown from 200 to more than 1,000 employees in 10 years. But that was before the price of oil and gas went into the basement. Now they’re laying off employees…
There is an inescapable fact in business: those who take risks are the ones who get the rewards. A corollary is this: Those who take the biggest risks get the biggest rewards. And so it is for Meadville (Crawford County), PA company Universal Well Services, a company that specializes in pressure-pumping wells, cementing well pads and other well services. Ten years ago Universal’s business was 100% servicing the needs of conventional oil and gas drillers. The company decided to take a leap of faith–they temporarily suspended their work for conventional drillers and instead worked on a single Marcellus Shale (unconventional/shale) project. It was a huge risk for a relatively small company…
EQT was the first driller in the Marcellus Shale to convert a drilling rig to run on electricity produced by engines using an LNG/diesel mix (see this MDN story). CONSOL was next to experiment with converting some of their rigs to use LNG/diesel (see this MDN story). Then Seneca Resources, the gas drilling arm of National Fuel Gas Company, announced two of their drilling rigs will use 100% LNG as fuel (see this MDN story).
What started as a trickle is turning into a flood in Pennsylvania and throughout the Marcellus/Utica region and beyond. More companies are in the process of converting fleets to run on LNG or a mix of LNG/diesel. These new conversions will not only power initial drilling, but will also power the massive pump engines and heavy equipment used in the fracking process itself…
A somewhat technical, but informative article on how hydraulic fracturing technology is getting more environmentally friendly was recently published in Drilling Contractor. Halliburton, Baker Hughes, Schlumberger, Weatherford International, GasFrac Energy Services, Universal Well Services and Frac Tech Services went on the record with Drilling Contractor about the environmental aspects of hydraulic fracturing and “green” developments.
From the introduction of the article we see the critical role fracking plays in natural gas development: