Appalachian Basin

Energy Day: Getting Involved in the Supply Chain

Energy Day took place last week in Scranton, Pennsylvania. The event was organized by America’s Natural Gas Alliance (ANGA), the Associated Petroleum Industries of PA (American Petroleum Institute, API), the Marcellus Shale Coalition (MSC) and the Pennsylvania Independent Oil & Gas Association (PIOGA). The event was attended by over 300 individuals and representatives of 13 different Chambers of Commerce. W
e will be highlighting information from the event in a series of posts.

We’ve been discussing last week’s Energy Day in Scranton this week, covering the state of the natural gas industry, natural gas usage, and will conclude tomorrow with pipelines. This post will focus on how to get involved in the supply chain. If you own a business and have been considering contracting with the Marcellus industry, read on to learn how to do so.

The supply chain panel at Energy Day was hosted by the Marcellus Shale Coalition (MSC), a trade association that has been focused on connecting businesses on Main Street with the natural gas industry. To kick off the panel, Pennsylvania State Representative John Yudichak, in between jokes about the end of the show The Office, which is set in Scranton, laid the groundwork for why this is such an important topic.

I hope that these conversations can strengthen our state policy on how to build a sustainable economy around natural gas in Pennsylvania. As the panel can attest, there are few better opportunities to spur economic development and put Northeastern Pennsylvania families back to work than those opportunities available in the Marcellus Shale industry. The industry has helped create tens of thousands of jobs in Pennsylvania and many of those jobs are growing along the supply chain of local businesses that have seized the moment to fill or expand their business model in engineering, construction, manufacturing and retail services. There are many different opportunities for Northeastern Pennsylvania to grow along the Marcellus Shale industry supply chain. (4:15)

Jim Ladlee, the Associate Director of the Penn State Marcellus Center for Outreach & Research and the Director of Special Initiatives at ShaleTEC, moderated the panel. He also offered his insights on what he has seen from a workforce and business development perspective over the last few years.

The most exciting part of my job is helping businesses and individuals understand the enormous opportunity that shale represents. Just on the individual basis, as John [Augustine] and Katie [Klaber] already said, those are the 42o individuals across 150 occupations. That’s from our study through the Shale Training and Education Center [ShaleTEC]. And that is a real number! Most people when you start to think about how many people are on a well pad, you start to see those numbers come to life. And we know that on the upstream supply chain side that it can take up to 100 sub-contractors or more to bring a single shale well into production. So it’s not just about individuals. It’s about business opportunities, as well. (3:00)

Energy Day Panelists Discuss How to Get Into the Marcellus Supply Chain

Bill Springer, DTE Energy

DTE Energy is a midstream services company specializing in pipelines and natural gas storage. One of their projects is the Bluestone Gathering system which delivers natural gas from the Marcellus to the Millenium Pipeline in Broome County, New York and the Tennessee Pipeline in Susquehanna County, Pennsylvania. As a midstream company, they contract with exploration and production companies like Southwestern who owns the gas gathered by the Bluestone. They also contract with supply chain companies to build their pipelines.

Bill Springer offered some great insight onto how he selects contractors and what he’s looking for in a company when deciding who to hire.

Chris Cook, WPX Energy

WPX Energy is a natural gas exploration and production company, or operator, which specializes in recovering oil, natural gas, and natural gas liquids from unconventional resources like shale, as well as coal bed methane. They were formally a subsidiary of Williams, but became an independent company at the end of 2011. In Pennsylvania, they are currently active in Westmoreland and Susquehanna Counties and have been operating here since 2009.


WPX Energy well site in Susquehanna County, PA. Image from Susquehanna County video.

As an operator, WPX contracts out much of the work that occurs on the well site from building the pad to drilling and hydraulically fracturing the well and strives to work with local businesses near their operations. Chris Cook discussed more about his company and how he selects contractors in the following video.

Christopher McCue, Borton-Lawson

Borton-Lawson is a Pennsylvania-based architectural and engineering firm with offices in Bethlehem, Nazareth, State College, Pittsburgh, Towanda, Wilkes-Barre, and also one in Canton, Ohio. The firm got involved in the Marcellus industry around the time it began in Pennsylvania and since 2008 has doubled its staff, according to McCue. McCue also discussed how the firm has completed around $6 million worth of engineering work for the natural gas industry which equals about $500 million in actual construction monies.

Borton-Lawson is a contractor working in the Marcellus Supply Chain, and as such, McCue offered advice on how other companies can get involved as well.


The panelists were asked the number one question local businesses tend to ask about supply chain:

How do you successfully market or network your business? Or, more specifically, how do you get to the right person?

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If you have any questions about how to do business with the Marcellus Shale Industry, please be sure to reach out to MSC, ANGA, API, PIOGA or EID and we’ll help get you in touch with the right people to answer your questions. And keep an eye out for future events like Energy Day for a chance to network and gather more information.

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