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DECEMBER 2016/JANUARY 2017
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E N VI RONM E N TAL 724.225.2202 | www.steelnation.com
ONG SPOTLIGHT: - Page 3: Steel Nation’s Year in Review Page 5: MDN’s Top Stories in the Past 30 Days O&G: UPSTREAM: - Page 6: Who Signed Off on Your Totes? O&G: MIDSTREAM: - Page 8-9: The Multiphase Flow Meters Rule in Well Pad Central Processing O&G: MIDSTREAM: - Page 14: Eliminating Freezing Issues Boosts Winter Frac Sand Operations
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December 2016/January 2017
ONG SPOTLIGHT From all of us at Steel Nation, we want to wish our clients, vendors, contractors and business partners in the Oil/Gas Industry a very safe and prosperous New Year! 2016 was a productive year for Steel Nation, especially during the Energy slowdown. Starting in 2017 we have exciting new changes that will benefit our clients and vendors as we continue our pursuit of excellence in designing and building the absolute safest, coolest and quietest Compressor/Transmission/Gas Processing Plants in the energy sector.
to quickly serve our clients’ needs. Under the leadership of Ed Hirzel, P.E., we have continued to build our team to include full-time AutoCAD designers and detailers to focus on foundation, HVAC, process flow, electrical, sound mitigation, air handling and other critical disciplines that are crucial to designing safe and effective natural gas facilities. These services also include permitting and full interior design of office and occupied spaces. We also continued to provide a variety of ad hoc services such as building and crane investigations, above ground tank inspection services, and customized engineering solutions. In January 2016 Steel Nation Engineering opened a new office in Wexford, PA, concentrating on Electrical Design and is led by Marty Micko, P.E. Marty has decades of experience in designing waste water treatment systems, tying in closely with the needs of our Oil & Gas Clients.
Headquartered in the center of the Marcellus & Utica Shale in Washington, Pennsylvania, Steel Nation has quickly become an industry leader in design/build projects for many successful natural gas projects. In 2016, Steel Nation completed over 70 projects in Pennsylvania, Ohio, West Virginia, Maryland, Kentucky, Georgia, Utah and Texas. Steel Nation was also awarded over 145 new projects, with most scheduled to be completed by the end of 2017. Our main goal is “Safety First – For Life” and we are very proud that we did not have any safety violations or incidents in 2016, and our EMR Rates continue to among be the lowest of any supplier in the O&G industry.
Steel Nation celebrates their 5th Christmas Party at Bistecca in the Meadows Racetrack In 2016, Steel Nation continued to serve many of our existing customers and gained many new clients in both the Mid-Stream and Transmission side of the industry, including of the processing plants and compressor stations included in the pipeline systems throughout the area. In January 2016 Steel Nation created 3 Distinct Divisions, which continue to offer new products and services to assist our client’s needs: 1.Steel Nation Buildings, Inc. Since 2008, the design-build of pre-engineered metal buildings has been at the core of our business. This group represents our core business focused on providing the absolute Safest, Coolest and Quietest Compressor/Transmission/Gas Processing Plants in the energy sector. This will continue to be the core business at Steel Nation, and is headed by our Executive VP, Alan Reid. We continue to offer a wide variety of services to our customers under this umbrella including: Foundations, steel erection, building maintenance, retro and demo work, combustion air intakes, electrical installation, fire detectors, gas detectors, heating (electrical & fuel gas), and new air handing systems. The other entities listed below have been created to supplement the buildings business and provide greater value added services to our existing customer base. In 2016 Steel Nation Buildings surpassed 400 total projects to date. 2.Steel Nation Engineering, Inc. Since 2014, Steel Nation has brought most of our engineering service “in house”
3.Steel Nation Environmental, Inc. Since opening in October 2015, Steel Nation Environmental has been dedicated to supplying the energy sector with quality landscape and erosion control products. Our product line contains limestone, gravel, sand, retaining wall materials, drainage systems, erosion control blankets, silt sock, silt fence, site fencing, land clearing and many other industry specific items. Steel Nation Environmental closely monitors the most current technology and provides those options to our partners as it evolves. We understand the time sensitive nature of the industry and from our centrally located supply yard in Canonsburg, PA, we are able to meet the pace of business for our customers. Steel Nation Environmental also stated purchasing heavy equipment for client needs in excavating & land clearing, again tying in closely with Erosion & Sediment Control Projects. In January 2016 Steel Nation became a proud member of the Marcellus Shale Coalition (MSC). The MSC is an advocacy group for Shale Gas, mainly in the Marcellus and Utica Shales. Also in 2016, Steel Nation welcomed Mark Dooley as our Chief Financial Officer. Mark will lead the financial accounting for all Steel Nation divisions. We also welcomed new employees in 2016, including: Kevin Daugherty, Lee Walton & Ashley Taylor (Environmental), Derrick Whitlatch & Kimberly Collins (Engineering), and Clyde Nishnick and Dan Flynn (Buildings). Finally, I would like to thank all of our clients for their continued trust in Steel Nation. And to all of our clients, vendors and partners, best wishes for a safe, productive and prosperous New Year! All The Best, Mark Caskey President
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ASSOCIATION MEETINGS PIOGA Winter Meeting | February 1, 2017 Pittsburgh, PA - www.pioga.org
OOGA Winter Meeting | March 8-10, 2017 Columbus, OH - www.ooga.org
ADDC Region II Meeting | March 30 – April 1, 2017 Terre Haute, IN - www.addc.org
ADDC Region I Meeting | May 18-21, 2017 Niagara Falls, NY - www.addc.org KOGA Annual Meeting | July 18, 2017 Lexington, KY - www.kyoilgas.org
ONG SPOTLIGHT: Steel Nation’s Year in Review... 3
ALBERTA RIG MATS.............................................. 4 ALPINE ELECTRIC............................................... 12 CST INDUSTRIES.................................................. 9 DOSS ENTERPRISES........................................... 10 DMC DESIGN....................................................... 10 ERNST SEED........................................................ 10 GIANGARLO SCIENTIFIC...................................... 4 LEE REGER BUILDS............................................ 12 LEE SUPPLY......................................................... 10 LYDEN OIL COMPANY......................................... 13 MCCLUSKEY & ASSOCIATES, INC....................... 5 MID-ATLANTIC STORAGE.................................. 12 NEWSON-GALE..................................................... 2 NORTH AMERICAN FIELD SERVICES................ 12 PREMIER SAFETY & SERVICE INC...................... 7 STEEL NATION...................................................... 1 TOTAL EQUIPMENT.............................................. 7 TRI-TOOL............................................................. 13 WEAVERTOWN ENVIRONMENTAL.................... 12 WOLF CONSULTING & EVENTS......................... 12
MDN’s Top Stories in the Past 30 Days.................... 5 O&G: UPSTREAM: Who Signed Off on Your Totes?.............................................................. 6 O&G: MIDSTREAM: The Multiphase Flow Meters Rule in Well Pad Central Processing..................... 8-9 O&G: MIDSTREAM: Eliminating Freezing Issues Boosts Winter Frac Sand Operations Ahead Of Sand Demand Surge................................................. 14-15
CALENDARS ASSOCIATION MEETINGS.................................... 4 NETWORKING EVENTS........................................ 7 TRAINING & WORKSHOPS................................ 12 UPCOMING EVENTS........................................... 11
EVENTS MARCELLUS-UTICA MIDSTREAM...................... 16
FLOW METERS Multi Phase Flow Meters, Magnetic Flow Meters, Density Meters, Gas, Liquids, Slurry, Emulsions Tank Guaging, Tank Dewatering, Tank Sampling Systems Available from: Giangarlo Scientiic in PGH. Pa 1-800-229-8850 www.giangarloscientiic.com
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December 2016/January 2017
Each weekday Marcellus Drilling News locates and shares news, along with a healthy sprinkling of commentary, for the Marcellus and Utica Shale. Over 50,000 people read MDN each month, making it an excellent barometer to inform ONG Marketplace readers which topics generated the most interest for those who work in the oil and gas and associated industries. Below is a summary of the top 5 stories that were most-read over the past 30 days on MDN. #1 Most Read: BLM Launches Auction to Lease Wayne National Forest for Fracking It’s been ten long years, but finally the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) has just posted a lease sale auction for 33 parcels in Ohio’s Wayne National Forest (WNF). Although there are some 18,000 acres under consideration for leasing by the BLM in WNF, this first batch amounts to about 1,600 acres--most of it in Monroe County, OH. Monroe is a prime location for Utica Shale drilling. WNF is the only national forest in Ohio and portions of it are found in Athens, Gallia, Hocking, Jackson, Monroe, Morgan, Noble, Lawrence, Perry, Scioto, Vinton, and Washington counties. WNF is a “patchwork” of public land scattered among private land. Some 60% of the mineral rights below WNF are privately owned. Those mineral rights owners have been denied the use of their property rights for a decade. The BLM controls drilling on federally-protected lands like WNF. In November 2015, the BLM held a series of hearings about finally beginning to drill in WNF. With this auction, it appears that not only will public land get leased, but drilling on private land in WNF can go forward as well. Read the full story on the BLM’s auction for WNF at: https://goo.gl/OHIFhA #2 Most Read: Trump Victory Good News for the Shale Industry [Posted on Nov. 9, the morning after an astonishing election result.] Donald Trump’s victory in winning the presidency--whether you voted for him or not--is a victory for the oil and gas industry. Fracking is now not in danger of being banned, as it would have been with Hillary Clinton. During the Democratic debate his past spring in Flint, Michigan, on the topic of fracking Clinton said: “By the time we get through all of my conditions, I do not think there will be many places in America where fracking will continue to take place.” Chilling. But that future will now not be realized. The Washington “swamp” as Trump and his running mate Mike Pence call it, is about to get drained. That includes the rogue, out-of-control Environmental Protection Agency, among others. Radical environmentalists are shocked and suicidal. We’re delighted! The people of this country have spoken. A special, big “THANK YOU” to the energy voters of Pennsylvania who put Trump over the top for a huge electoral victory. Not even Ed Rendell’s vaunted Philadelphia votegenerating machine could hold back Trump in the Keystone State. To read more of MDN’s post-election missive, go here: https://goo.gl/sUPXoE #3 Most Read: Chesapeake Sells 882K Acres & 5,600 Conventional Wells in WV, KY Chesapeake Energy, which continues to be strapped financially, embarked on a mission to lighten the debt load years ago--first under co-founder Aubrey McClendon, and then more aggressively under his successor, Doug Lawler. Many pieces of the company have been sold off: the Oilfield Services division, all of its Haynesville Shale assets, all of its Barnett Shale assets...we could go on. Chessy loves to do land deals. In December 2014 Chesapeake sold off 413,000 Marcellus acres mostly in West Virginia to Southwestern Energy. Once again Chesapeake is selling off assets in Appalachia. This time they have cut a deal to sell a mammoth 882,000 acres along with 5,600 operating gas wells in West Virginia and Kentucky. However, the land and wells are in the “shallow” Devonian layer. That is, they are conventional (not shale) wells and acreage. Who’s the buyer and how much is Chesapeake receiving? Zacks speculates that the buyer is Core Minerals. The deal is somewhat complicated and, according to Zacks, won’t really add much to Chesapeake’s bottom line. However, it gives Chessy fewer things to worry about, and perhaps that’s a positive for the company. To read more about Chesapeake’s latest big Appalachia sale, click here: https://goo.gl/2EtpTU
Page 5 #4 Most Read: Must-Attend Webinar - The Moral Case for Fossil Fuels Do you believe the argument that says, “Natural gas is just a bridge fuel to help us until renewable energy arrives to save the day”? Let me challenge your thinking with this counter-argument: Fossil fuels, including natural gas, are BETTER than renewables. Is your head spinning yet? MDN hosted a live webinar on Friday, Nov. 18, with Alex Epstein, founder of the Center for Industrial Progress and author of one of MDN’s favorite books: The Moral Case for Fossil Fuels. Editor Jim Willis heard Alex deliver a live speech at the 2016 Shale Insight in Pittsburgh in September and vowed to have him address the MDN audience. Here’s what Jim wrote in September: “MDN editor Jim Willis found Alex’s talk the most compelling of the entire show. He has a degree in philosophy, lives in the San Francisco Bay area and looks like he’s a surfer dude. He combines two rare qualities--he’s a deep thinker who can present his deep thoughts in an understandable and entertaining way. Alex’s message is that the energy industry sucks at telling our story. His mission is to get us telling one of the greatest stories on earth. He said, ‘If you can’t tell the story of how you want to improve life, then you can’t improve life.’ So true. Alex himself was raised believing fossil fuels are the enemy. He shared some of the thought processes that led him to conclude that fossil fuels are indeed not the enemy but the savior.” Alex didn’t disappoint. Over 200 people registered to attend the webinar. It was a great session with lots of excellent questions. You can watch a replay of the webinar here: https://goo.gl/DQWvYK #5 Most Read: UTOPIA Pipeline Still Battling OH Landowners with Eminent Domain Kinder Morgan’s UTOPIA (Utica To Ontario Pipeline Access) pipeline is a 12-inch ethane pipeline that will run 240 miles and will only be built in Ohio-therefore the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) won’t be involved in permitting the project. In April we asked the question, Why is UTOPIA Pipeline Less “Controversial” than NEXUS in Ohio? Perhaps that question was premature, because not long after we ran a story that Kinder Morgan was suing holdout landowners using eminent domain to allow the pipeline. The real eye-popper was reading just how much Kinder Morgan was offering for easements to property owners. Of course what a landowner is offered depends on how many feet of land the pipeline will cross. Some landowners were offered up to $63,300 for an easement. In some cases, the offers were, according to KM, “more than 10 times the appraised value of the easement.” It’s certainly in a landowner’s best interest to settle before being forced to settle (for far less) via eminent domain. So how is the process going? The lawyer for one group of landowners says KM’s offers are low, not high. This article offered an update on the legal battles in the Buckeye State over UTOPIA, which you can read here: https://goo.gl/Yor6SJ If you’d like to keep track of the headlines each business day, it’s easy! Just sign up for MDN’s free daily email at marcellusdrilling.com/email.
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WHO SIGNED OFF ON YOUR TOTES? By: Gary R. Brown, P.E., President, RT Environmental Services, Inc. There is increasing recognition that intermediate bulk containers (IBC), commonly known as totes, are more widely used as a cost effective and easily handled container for liquids. Liquids are used at industrial sites, drilling sites and at construction sites, and totes rather than drums are used for storage with increasing frequency. Unfortunately, in many instances totes have been introduced to project sites, work sites and industrial sites without the use of totes being properly considered in federal Spill Prevention Control and Countermeasure Plans and related state Contingency Plans. The key technical difference between totes and other forms of containment is that totes can unfortunately be speared by forklifts and totes are simply not a material (such as metal) that offers the same resistance to ignitability and flammability concerns as do drums. Also, because totes when stacked have substantial capacity, totes in reasonable quantities are replacing small above-ground storage tanks in many instances. The reason for this is that unloading of a totes is simple, as compared to transfer of liquids from tanker trucks to tanks which takes time, and usually involves pumps, valves and labor. RT Environmental Services, Inc., whose principal, Gary R. Brown, P.E., Q.E.P., is a Registered Professional Engineer in 22 states including the District of Columbia, felt it important to share details on what are appropriate Best Management Practices and procedures to be implemented where the use of totes is being incorporated into an SPCC or other Contingency Plans, as a form of liquid containment. Overview Although the placement and use of totes would appear to be relatively simple, there are actually a significant number of considerations to be taken into account, when the placement and use of totes is considered at any location where ongoing use will continue. Important questions regarding the placement and use of totes are: - What will be the class of the liquid stored? - Where materials will be flammable or combustible, what codes will apply? - Will code officials require secondary containment and, if so, which type? - In the event of a spill incident or incident regarding flammability or fire, what tote layout has been selected and why? - Unlike drums, totes cannot always be accessed from all sides, and the typical tote layout, which may include stacking, only allows straight line row access. If the access is to be straight line, how many totes can be permitted to be laid out and stacked so that the response time to retrieve a problem tote will not result in an expanding emergency leak or flammability situation?
- If accessibility to a problem tote is important, should the totes be stacked so that access is sideways, directly into the row and not along the row, to reduce the stack movement/ tote access time? - If totes are being aggregated in an area for the first time, and the materials are combustible or flammable, does the fact the totes are being aggregated change requirements for fire protection, including sprinklers and/or such units as halon so that insurance requirements to be code compliant are not compromised? - Accidental spearing of totes by forklifts is a key problem emergency incident mode. This is associated with totes but is not normally associated with the container method that the totes replace, including the use of drums or tanks. Because of this, the tote storage area, prior to being finalized, should be evaluated as to how “busy” the area will be, particularly with forklift traffic. Totes, if more than a handful are involved, should only be placed in areas where access is well thought out as to the avoidance of forklift spearing incidents and meeting code requirements. Although drums are typically viewed as temporary storage, as the volumes stored increase, interpretation of code requirements that there is now “permanent storage” may require upgraded fire protection, include aisle spacing changes or other safety measures. - If the stored materials are flammable or solid, what is the require code classification for wiring/electrical systems, and are there unprotected drains nearby the planned tote storage area? - If there are drains nearby, and there are oils, flammables or combustibles involved, are the floor drain systems set up so that spilled or washed down liquids will flow through an oil/water separation system which meets the requirements of local or regional sewer authorities? - Are all totes arranged so that markings and/or labels are visible from the aisle? Best Management Practices - Decide whether tote storage must be added to your Contingency Plan and/or Stormwater Management Plan. - Place appropriate spill kit(s) in tote storage and loading/unloading areas. - Have a Professional Engineer or Code Official determine: o Material compatibility/separation requirements o Appropriate aisle spacing and stacking arrangements o Layout, forklift access and storage layout logistics o The need for tote group or individual secondary containment - Include tote loading/unloading and fork lift movement aspects in Contingency Plan Training.
December 2016/January 2017
Closing Totes can be a big improvement in liquids management and labor and liquid handling costs can be reduced. But remember – changing the containers you use means that you are responsible to evaluate safety, building code spill response and stormwater management to assure continuing environmental and code compliance. Contact Information: Gary R. Brown, P.E. President RT Environmental Services, Inc. firstname.lastname@example.org 800-725-0593
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December 15 OOGA Annual Holiday Membership Reception Newark, OH | www.ooga.org December 16 KOGA Christmas Party Lexington, KY | www.kyoilgas.org
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THE MULTIPHASE FLOW METERS RULE IN WELL PAD CENTRAL PROCESSING By: Vince Giangarlo, Giangarlo Scientific
D. Dual venturi meter E. Pressure transmitters
Traditionally the multiphase flow metering was carried out by large separator vessels where gravity separated the liquid and the gas. In these systems single phase flow meters were needed to measure output of each phase. This measurement often was not in real time and could not adapt to changes in well production.
Agar has developed a coriolis meter able to handle the full range of GVF with very low operating differential pressure (DP). Agar has designed a new controller for its coriolis which is able to provide the linear response required to accurately measure the mass flow and multiphase density using the coriolis effect in a â€˜straight pipeâ€™ design.
Now, many shale producers have multiple wells per pad configurations and are moving to a central processing facility handling multiple pads. The Multiphase flow meter is being used for well testing at the individual pads eliminating well test separators and relief valves at the pad locations. This makes reservoir management a lot easier and gives the operators an additional tool for evaluating the efficiency of the separators. As the reservoir ages, operators can conveniently add identifiable secondary flows that are now measured by multiphase flow meters without the need for more separators. Most producers report improvements in well test accuracy and field allocation factors. One advanced system offered by Agar Corporation is not affected by changes in viscosity, temperature, pressure and contains no radioactive sources/nuclear sources. This system does not use gamma ray devices and is not affected by salinity value shifts experienced with gamma ray spectroscopy devices. The AGAR MPFM uses a combination of Agar Coriolis and momentum meters (dual venturi meter) to solve the equations for Multiphase Flow Measurement. There is periodically some confusion when discussing Gas Volume Fraction and Gas Void Figure 1: Agar MPFM-50 Components Fraction. Gas void fraction (GVF) is calculated as the ratio of the cross-sectional area of gas when compared to the total cross-sectional area of the pipe. The gas volume fraction is a ratio of the gas volume flow rate compared to the total volume flow rate. The Agar Multiphase Flow Meter (MPFM-50) solution The Agar MPFM-50 is a complete system that integrates commonly used oilfield measurement technologies. Agar combines these devices to accurately measure the flow rates for oil, water and gas in a multiphase environment. The Agar MPFM-50 consists of 5 major components as shown in Figure 1: A. Coriolis meter B. Agar OW-200 water cut meter C. Agar ID-201 interface detector
The MPFM-50 can be trailer mounted for portability to test multiple sites. In order to determine both the GVF and the total flow under high GVF conditions (above 25%), it is necessary to combine the coriolis reading with a second flow device. The Agar momentum meter consists of a venturi section used to determine real-time flow rates of liquid and gas. Its principle of operation uses fundamental knowledge from fluid mechanics and numerical methods. The differential pressures are measured relative to their corresponding inlet pressures. By combining the venturi with the density input from the coriolis, a second mass flow is determined. It is used The MPFM-50 is skid mounted for ease of to determine the slip ratio installation in the field by solving the differential equations of the mass flows measured by both flow devices (coriolis and venturi). The Agar coriolis combined with the Agar momentum meter (dual venturi) allows for measurement of the total flow and GVF in real time. By using the GVF and total flow, the MPFM can calculate the liquid flow rate and the flow rate of the gaseous phase.
December 2016/January 2017
Accuracy compared to test separators and test tanks and other test equipment. Eagle Ford, Bakken, & Niobrara: The AGAR MPFM-50 has provided accurate results in the multiple unconventional shale plays compared to results from test tanks, even where the Gas Void Fraction was over 95% and the oil was foamy. Agar instruments were utilized to provide Oil, water and gas flow rates, water cut, Gas Void Fraction (GVF), Gas Oil Ratio (GOR), Pressure & Temperature. The outstanding performance showed accurate averaged results for the water cut and liquid measurement on the MPFM-50 were within 5%
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Remote sites. The MPFM-50 combined with a wireless connection comes in a portable unit suitable for well testin in satellite sites where a MCC or DCS terminal is not available. The remote connectivity feature provides access from the office to the meter at any time and in real time. Summary: The AGAR MPFM-50 enables production engineers to optimize the performance of the well production with real time monitoring. As a well testing tool it can eliminate the need for additional tanks and separators. The MPFM -50 provide can reduce capital expenditures and reduce operating costs for the short and long term.
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About the Author: The MPFM-50 (similar view as Figure 1) Agar Corporation is represented The MPFM-50 side view. locally by Giangarlo Scientific in the Marcellus and Utica Shale Regions of the United States. Please contact: Oil and Gas Instrumentation Group Giangarlo Scientific Company 162 Steuben Street Pittsburgh, PA 15220 Office: 800-229-8850
Vince Giangarlo Agar Manufacturer’s Representative Sales@giangarloscientific.com www.giangarloscientific.com
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December 2016/January 2017
UPCOMING EVENTS JANUARY
OGIS New York
Pittsburgh, PA | www.hartenergyconferences.com
New York, NY | www.ipaa.org
SPE Hydraulic Fracturing Technology Conference
AADE National Technical Conference
The Woodlands, TX | www.spe.org
Houston, TX | www.aade.org
FEBRUARY 7-8 IADC Health, Safety, Environment & Training Conference Houston, TX | www.iadc.org
15-17 NAPE Summit
SPE Health, Safety, Security, Environment & Social Responsibility New Orleans, LA | www.spe.org
20 Michigan Petroleum Conference Traverse City, MI | www.michiganoilandgas.org
26-28 Womenâ€™s Energy Network National Conference Houston, TX | www.womensenergynetwork.org
Houston, TX | www.napeexpo.com
20-22 SPE Resevoir Stimulation Conference Montgomery, TX | www.spe.org
MAY 1-4 Offshore Technology Conference
MARCH 14-16 International Pipeline, Oil and Safety Conference Houston, TX | oilandgassafetyconference.com
Houston, TX | 2017.otcnet.org
2-3 Marcellus & Manufacturing Conference Morgantown, WV | www.wvma.com
11-12 North America Oil & Gas Conference Pittsburgh, PA | www.kallanishenergy.com
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TRAINING & WORKSHOPS DECEMBER
13 SafeLand USA Bridgeport, WV www.rjrsafety.com
12 NFPA Alternative Fuel Vehicle Safety Training Course Oakdale, PA www.nfpaalleghenycounty.eventbrite.com
13 WV AST Compliance Seminar Charleston, WV www.wvma.com
MARCH 16-17 Ohio Gas Association Technical Seminar Columbus, OH www.ohiogasassoc.org
WANT YOUR TRAINING EVENT ON OUR CALENDAR? CALL US AT 724-787-4451 OR EMAIL INFO@ONGMARKETPLACE.COM
December 2016/January 2017
The Northeast ONG Marketplace
ELIMINATING FREEZING ISSUES BOOSTS WINTER FRAC SAND OPERATIONS AHEAD OF SAND DEMAND SURGE By: Laurie Beth Roberts, Thermo-Tech, Inc. The striking plunge that Wisconsin’s frac sand mines experienced in 2015, which continued into 2016, slowed production, idled facilities and sent many workers to the unemployment line. Dropping oil prices and the increased use of brown sand handed them a one-two punch that was tough to take. But, good news is on the horizon. The demand for frac sand is expected to take an upswing in 2017 and possibly go higher in 2018. While the Wisconsin’s frac sand industry will most likely never return to the prominence it held in 2013 and 2014, between their own initiatives and the oil and gas industry seeking improved efficiency by increasing the amount of sand used, a rebound is coming. While not every frac sand operation will enjoy the rebound, those who operate efficiently are better poised to reap the benefits. The height of the 2013/2014 demand surge for Wisconsin’s frac sand by the oil and gas shale boom created a frac sand rush. Rival companies pulled out all the stops to maximize their production capacity. But winter’s freezing temperatures wreaked havoc on their dry plant operations and many wet plants were idled. Most of the plant operators considered down time and lost productivity caused by freezing conveying issues part of normal operations, but three frac sand plants were determined to overcome it. And they did. Located in the Potomac Highlands region of West Virginia where many of the state’s spectacular mountain features and winter’s freezing temperatures and lofty snow call home, Thermo-Tech. Inc. had just what they needed. Born out of necessity in coal country 33 years ago, Thermo-Tech introduced the mining industry to the conveyor belt heater, a one-of-a kind heating/deicing system used on conveyor belts and related components such as drive and tail rolls. They were designed to replace uncontrolled open flames such as weed burners, tiger torches, firepots and torpedo heaters as well as ineffective electric heaters. They also eliminate the environmental hazards, complications and expense of antifreeze applications. MSHA allows these heaters for above ground installations per their Investigative Report #MRS No. 010104. Thermo-Tech’s belt heaters solve freezing and sticking problems at material handling, conveying, transfer and storage facilities around the globe in such places as Mongolia and well above the Arctic Circle in the northern most open pit mine on the planet. Eighteen belt heaters operate among the three Wisconsin plants, ensuring maximum production capacity at an efficient cost and have helped keep them viable and prepared for the predicted sand demand surge.
One of the plants also relies on two Thermo-Tech heated liner systems installed in their grizzly feed hoppers. While other plants are fighting freezing issues and experiencing downtime or have chosen to operate intermittently or idle, this plant operates during the winter season. Doing so makes them the “go to” supplier for the oil and gas shale industry. Recently introduced, the heated chute, bin and hopper liner system eliminates materials freezing or sticking. Because this revolutionary concept retrofits to almost any existing problem and is custom designed for each specific area (any size, any shape, any position), it is simple and inexpensive to install, either by bolting or welding in place. They are available with any wear face desired such as AR400/500, stainless, TIVAR, UHMW or ceramic. Custom sized heated panels are also available to attach to the outside of affected areas when installing liners isn’t feasible. Freezing and moisture issues can cause considerable loss of revenue any time wet material is conveyed on belts or redirected through chutes or stored in bins and hoppers. The properly directed use of heat can prevent virtually any freezing or sticking issue and keep materials moving at any temperature. When conventional methods of dealing with winters wrath are inadequate or too expensive, a custom heating system may be the answer. One of the plants is in the initial stages of incorporating belt heaters to keep the belts dry and heated liners to prevent wet sand freezing in chutes, bins, hoppers and even bucket loaders with the goal of yearround production. This will propel them further forwarded as a key supplier to the oil and gas shale industry, most certainly ahead of the curve of other operations playing catch up. For 33 years the coal, metals and aggregates mining industries have maximized their production and profits, especially in downturn markets, with Thermo-Tech’s unique freeze prevention systems. The frac sand industry can surely do the same. For more information, please contact Laurie Beth Roberts at 877-693-7693 or visit thermotechinc.com.
December 2016/January 2017
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The Northeast ONG Marketplace
FEATURED SPEAKERS DAY 1
The Midstream Evolves
Alan S. Armstrong
January 24-26, 2017
President and CEO The Williams Cos. Inc. n
DAVID L. LAWRENCE CONVENTION CENTER
The future is now The prolific Marcellus and Utica region has established itself as a world-class resource that is reshaping the energy industry. Current production is some 21 Bcf/d of natural gas and 106,000 bpd of crude oil. And that’s driving midstream and downstream opportunities. New demand (and midstream infrastructure to fuel it) is growing. Vast new natural gas markets are emerging as LNG export terminals like Dominion’s Cove Point come online and multi-national companies like Shell move forward on massive ethane crackers to serve clients around the world. Get market intelligence straight from the leaders making it all happen. Register now to attend the 2017 Marcellus-Utica Midstream conference and exhibition!
Michael D. Frederick, Vice President, LNG Operations, Dominion Resources Frank Tsuru, President and CEO, M3 Midstream Marc A. Halbritter, Senior Vice President, Business Development, Blue Racer Midstream LLC Patrick Redalen, President, Stonehenge Energy Resources II LP Gregg Russell, Senior Vice President – Commercial Development, DTE Gas Storage and Pipelines Stuart Nance, Vice President – Marketing, Reliance Holding USA Inc.
NEW CONTENT FOR 2017 Take an inside look at emerging markets for Appalachia’s bounty of natural gas. View the full CONFERENCE AGENDA, SPEAKER SLATE and EXHIBITOR LIST at
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