Nationwide is Not Fracking Around

Interesting piece about Nationwide Mutual’s decision not to issue policies designed to cover fracking.  All reliable non-left wing/ energy from algae proponents unbiased  studies on fracking show that when its done properly – just like when any other construction technique is done properly – there is little risk of harm to the environment, water supplies, or surrounding geography in general.  So, Nationwide’s decision not to cover companies engaged in this growing area of work would appear to be Nationwide’s loss alone.  While the loss of competition is probably bad news for anyone involved with drilling for oil and natural gas, I would imagine there will be no shortage of carriers eager to fill whatever void Nationwide created.

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Philadelphia Based Gas Group Forms

A new trade organization called the Delaware Valley Marcellus Association has formed.  According to the Association’s web page

The Delaware Valley Marcellus Association acts as a new business conduit between gas development companies operating in the Marcellus Shale and the Philadelphia region’s rich trove of potential business partners. Founding members of the association include KPMG LLP,Duane Morris LLP, ModSpace, and Gregory FCA. The Association will foster a spirit of mutual collaboration that we believe will lead to business opportunities and added value for all.

The association will also serve as this region’s voice of reason, promoting responsible gas development and demonstrating the direct positive impact that responsible Marcellus development has on the economy here in the Delaware Valley.

The association will meet regularly to discuss business opportunities and to brainstorm initiatives that will promote responsible Marcellus Shale development. Marcellus Shale players from around the country will be invited to attend meetings and connect with Association members, and inform the group as to current issues in the industry. The group will actively educate the local market as to the financial and economic opportunities and serve as a positive voice in the Delaware Valley for responsible Marcellus Shale development.

Membership in the group is free for a limited time and the Association’s initial meeting will take place at the Union League on June 12, 2012 at 8 a.m.

Seems like more and more folks are realizing that the economic benefits of gas drilling cannot be ignored no matter where you are located.  From a contractor’s perspective, there are countless opportunities in this area and smart contractors will learn how their firms can work on projects related to gas drilling and pipeline construction as well as the construction of gas fired power plants.

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Why all the flack for frack?

Whoever invented fracking should win an award.  Watching this video made me realize that fracking is a triumph of human ingenuity rather than an environmental nightmare.   On a less philosophical note, contractors should take notice on the construction techniques used to drill for natural gas.  We have only begun to develop the infrastructure necessary to bring natural gas to the market.  As I noted a few weeks ago, it is estimated that $250 billion needs to be invested in new pipelines alone.   Contractors, especially in Pennsylvania, that are looking to grow their business in the next ten years should learn how their specialties can be used in the drilling for natural gas in the Marcellus Shale.


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“Big Stan” – The Coolest Tool In Construction

One of the things I love about construction are the crazy pieces of equipment that are used on jobs.  Engineering New Record has a short piece about “Big Stan,” which is believed to be the world’s largest truck mounted drill.  According to ENR:

The 250,000-lb, 93-ft-high boring behemoth was built in 1986 by Anderson Drilling, Lakeside, Calif., now a part of London-based Keller Group PLC. The mega-machine, which cost $1.5 million to construct, is named after 6-ft, 3-in.-tall Stan Anderson, who retired as company president in 2006.

A picture of “Big Stan” – courtesy of the Las Vegas Paving Corp. – appears to the above.  The auger alone weighs 15,000 lbs and it backs that bit up with a colossal 534,000 ft-lbs of torque.  Wow.

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