Schlouch Forms Joint Venture to Prep Shale Gas Drilling Sites

Fri December 18, 2009 - Northeast Edition

Schlouch Incorporated has formed a joint venture with Amy and Karl Barth of Morgantown, W.Va., to provide support services to companies drilling for natural gas in the Marcellus Shale structure of the Appalachian Basin. The new company is called Potomac Infrastructure.

Schlouch’s partners, Karl and Amy Barth, are civil engineers, owners of Blue Ridge Development, and Karl is a professor at West Virginia University. Their offices in Morgantown will be headquarters for Potomac Infrastructure while Schlouch’s Blandon office in Excelsior Industrial Park will be a PI regional office.

Prepare Site Infrastructure

According to Barry Schlouch, president of Schlouch Incorporated, the joint venture will construct roads, level sites for drilling equipment, construct holding basins, underground pipelines and provide sediment and erosion control primarily in Pennsylvania and neighboring states in the Appalachian Basin.

The target shale structure is some 5,000 to 8,000 ft. (1,524 to 2,438 m) below the surface of the earth. It is named for a distinct outcropping of the shale near Marcellus, N.Y., and it extends from New York through Pennsylvania, Ohio, Maryland and West Virginia.

“Drilling and gas production activity will be governed by the demand for and cost of alternate energy sources,” Schlouch said. “We formed this joint venture now because we see that demand increasing and this gas source being key to meeting America’s energy needs.”

Schlouch said that horizontal drilling is used to tap the shale structure offering a much more environmentally friendly approach to energy recovery. This technique, he said, allows one well site to recover gas from more than 600 acres of land, greatly reducing both environmental and surface impact.

This story was reprinted with permission from On Site Magazine, Fall/Winter 2009 Issue.