Posts Tagged ‘natural gas sites’

Job recruiters tour Cabot sites

MICHAEL J. RUDOLF, Susquehanna County Independent
Published: July 14, 2010

About two dozen employment recruiters, business representatives and others toured some natural gas sites in Susquehanna County on Wednesday, learning what jobs will be available in the industry.

Representatives of Cabot Gas & Oil Company presented the tour in conjunction with the Susquehanna County Career and Technology Center.
They said their goal is to make sure local people get trained for the jobs they’ll have to offer.
“We’re trying to show them what it takes to get a job, what it takes to work in our industry,” said Cabot spokesperson George Stark.
“It gives us a better understanding of what the jobs are now and what they’ll be like in the future,” noted Corky Staats, a job developer for Trehab.
“We’re educating ourselves as to seeing what those job opportunities are,” added Gary Matson, executive director of the Northern Tier Industry & Education Consortium.
Alice Davis, director of the career center, said knowing what employment opportunities are there helps employers and schools know what to prepare young people for.
“The worst thing to do is to have students get an education and not be able to get a job,” Davis said.
Traveling by school bus, the group went to three well sites to observe different phases of the gas drilling process.
The first stop was at the well site on the Elk Lake School District property. That site is in full operation producing gas. In fact, the school district has already received a royalty payment from the gas extracted there.
The group then stopped briefly at a well site on the Grosvenor property about a mile away. That site is just being developed, with heavy equipment clearing the land for a well pad.
Finally, the bus travelled to the Blaisure property, where a drilling rig is in the process of boring the first of six wells on that pad.
Stark said there is a misconception that gas well jobs are all going to people from out-of-state. He explained that while the actual drilling work tends to be done by experienced workers brought into the area, once the wells are in operation there are plenty of jobs for local people.
“The rigs are temporary. It’s the piece that’s up and gone the fastest,” he said.
Jonathan Pugh, a Cabot pipeline foreman, said many of the jobs are not through Cabot itself, but with its subsidiaries or subcontractors. For example, he said GDS Inc., the company Cabot uses to do site and rig construction, is always in need of laborers.
“That company needs people straight out of high school to work on heavy equipment,” Pugh said.
He added that the work is hard and the hours are long, but it’s worth it.
“It’s not for the faint-hearted. You’re out there to work,” he told the employment representatives. “But they get paid well. They get paid very well.”
Other subcontractors looking for workers are those that draw the water for the drilling and fracking process, such as Somerset Regional Water Resources. Pugh said that company is growing rapidly, with nearly 100 employees, most of whom are local.
One occupation that the industry will continue to need as it grows is welding, Stark said. Just about every phase of the operation requires skilled welders, he said.
“They’re the highest in demand. They can virtually name their hours, their salary,” he said.
At the Blaisure site, the group heard from Jerry Dugas, a Cabot drilling superintendent.
Dugas explained that the gas industry is not a transient business. It is to stay, he said, which is why it needs local workers.
To illustrate that, Dugas said after decades of living and working for Cabot in Texas, he now calls Tunkhannock home.
“I’ve got my Pennsylvania driver’s license and I’m registered to vote, so I’m here for the long haul,” he said.
Cabot has a significant financial investment in the area, Dugas said, noting that each well costs the company $6 to 8 million to drill. Cabot – and the other gas companies – wouldn’t be here if they didn’t expect to be profitable.
“Pennsylvania’s got the chance to become the next Texas, by a long shot,” he said.
View article here.

State police crack down on gas-drilling vehicles

By Andrew M.
Times Leader Staff Writer

Victoria Switzer watches the trucks, at least 100 of them she estimates, ramble past her Dimock Township home every day. They go back and forth from the Cabot Oil and Gas drill sites, hauling equipment, waste water and materials.

She worries what would happen if there was a spill, if the operator wasn’t properly licensed, if the truck wasn’t mechanically sound.

For years she’s been calling state officials and complaining about their speed, their actions and what she saw as violations. Last week some agencies heeded the call of Switzer and others like her and made a concerted effort to send a message to the truck operators that though they are permitted to operate, they need to do so legally.

During a three-day enforcement effort last week that focused on trucks hauling waste water from Marcellus Shale natural gas drilling operations across the state, the state police placed 250 commercial vehicles out of service.

State Police Commissioner Frank E. Pawlowski said state troopers worked in partnership with personnel from the Department of Environmental Protection, the Pennsylvania Public Utility Commission and the federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration as part of Operation FracNET.

In total, 1,137 trucks were inspected from June 14-16.

“Pennsylvania has experienced significant increases in heavy truck traffic in areas where Marcellus Shale natural gas drilling operations are taking place, particularly in Bradford, Clearfield, Susquehanna, Tioga and Washington counties,” Pawlowski said. “The process of hydraulic fracturing, or fracking, requires significant amounts of water to be delivered to the sites and later trucked away.”

He said the enforcement effort centered on identifying commercial vehicle safety deficiencies that could lead to crashes. Pawlowski said 131 of the 250 vehicles placed out of service were trucks hauling waste water. He said 669 traffic citations and 818 written warnings were issued as the result of waste water truck inspections. In addition, 23 of the 45 drivers placed out of service during the operation were waste water vehicle operators.

“As activities at natural gas sites continue to increase, it is important that everyone involved, including the waste transportation industry, understands Pennsylvania’s environmental and traffic safety laws and complies with them,” said DEP Secretary John Hanger.

“Cracking down, I’m thrilled to see it,” said Switzer, who is one of a dozen property owners in the Susquehanna County township that have had their well water polluted by oil drilling. “Better late than never.”

Mark Carmon, spokesman for DEP’s Northeast Regional office, said that three trucks were cited in Susquehanna County out of the 30 that were stopped. Two of the trucks were not carrying Prevention Preparedness Contingency plans, which list what chemicals are being hauled, emergency contact numbers in case of a spill and plans for cleanup. One of the trucks did not have proof of waste hauling certification, and one truck did not have its waste log book listing what it was hauling and from and to where.

Carmon said the operation provided “a good opportunity to check these trucks” and said it will be an ongoing measure.

Lt. Myra A. Taylor, a state police spokeswoman, said a decision was made to “make a concerted effort to blitz these particular areas,” in part, because of concerns raised by residents.

“I applaud the citizenry,” Taylor said. And she echoed Carmon’s comments that these inspections will not be a one-time event.

“We will be ever vigilant,” she said.

State Rep. Karen Boback, R-Harveys Lake, praised the offices involved in the operation.

“I applaud our state agencies and the state police for working together to monitor frack water hauling operations. It is vital that we continue to scrutinize every phase, aspect and offshoot of the drilling process, and I encourage law enforcement to persist in efforts to root out those operators who are not acting in accordance with Pennsylvania laws and potentially endangering the lives and health of Commonwealth residents, along with our environment,” she said.

Taylor said the truck violations found ran the gamut mechanical issues to overweight trucks. Driver citations included drivers operating without a proper license and drivers who were operating without enough rest or working too many hours in a day.

A list of what trucking companies were cited was not available by the state police or DEP.

A statement from the executive director of the Marcellus Shale Coalition, a pro-drilling organization, said steps have been taken and will continue to be taken to reduce gas-related truck traffic.

Copyright: Times Leader