Category Archives: Natural Gas

New Energy Report Underscores Need for Cathodic Protection Systems to Prevent Corrosion

Energy Report - Gas Regions in US
Source: U.S. Energy Information Administration

In a recent update to its drilling productivity energy report, the Energy Information Agency revealed that there are now three US oil fields that are producing more than one million barrels of oil a day (BPD). In North Dakota, the Bakken Shale has been a major economic boon for the region while in Texas the Permian Basin and Eagle Ford Shale have both exceeded predictions. As oil and natural gas continues to expand in these regions, the need for cathodic protection systems to prevent corrosion grows.

The three fields are so prolific that they now account for at least a third of the total US daily oil production. In fact, Mark Perry of the American Enterprise Institute found that the output of the three combined fields now surpasses 4 million BPD.

Each of these regions has seen rapid growth that is nearly unprecedented in the United States. The Bakken oil production was less than 200,000 barrels per day in 2008 and is now producing around 1,100,000, an increase of 450% in just over five years.

Meanwhile, in Texas, Eagle Ford’s natural gas production has tripled in the last three years and oil production has also flourished in recent years. The region was producing less 100,000 BPD in 2010 to more than 1,400,000 BPD in 2014.

Finally, wells that had been previously drilled in the Permian zones have found new life with the development of horizontal drilling techniques. Historically, wells had a 34 percent recovery rate, but that benchmark is being challenged with new technologies.

“This Energy Information Agency report is yet another reminder that oil and gas production in the United States will continue to flourish in the years to come,” said Chris Sheldon, utilities practice lead at MATCOR. “With such rapid growth, however, it’s vital that infrastructure is built to accommodate the changes. That means building it fast, but also building it right.”

“Cathodic protection systems, like those produced by MATCOR, ensure the safety of oil and natural gas production and delivery assets.”

Learn More About Cathodic Protection Systems

MATCOR is a corrosion prevention firm that engineers, manufactures, installs, commissions and maintains a proven range of turnkey proprietary cathodic protection and AC mitigation systems worldwide for the oil & gas, power, water/wastewater and other infrastructures industries.

Contact a MATCOR corrosion expert by completing our contact form or calling +1-215-348-2974.

Elite oil fields redefine meaning of crude’s ‘Big Three’,” CNBC, July 27, 2014.

Marcellus and Utica Shale Gas Production Projected to Continue Rising

Marcellus and Utica Shale Gas Updates It’s no secret that the Marcellus and Utica Shale formations are generating huge economic boons for the states in which they reside. Even as exploration and production increase in both Pennsylvania and Ohio, future projections show that the estimated ultimate recovery (EUR) for the region will outpace recent expansions.

A new study by ICF International projects that between the Marcellus and Utica Shale, natural gas production will expand to 34 billion cubic feet (Bcf) per day by 2035. This is a 36% growth from the 2014 estimations of 25 Bcf.

Since 2009, the production levels in both the Utica and Marcellus Shale have increased at an exponential rate. These natural gas reserves are vital to the future of American energy independence. These formations, along with the Bakken formation in North Dakota, are driving America’s energy sector forward.

As scientists research the full potential of the formations, technological improvements are drastically changing our ability to recover their stored energy. This increased efficiency is a major factor that is driving up the estimated ultimate recovery (EUR) per well.

“The Utica and Marcellus Shale represent some of the most exciting areas of national growth over the next 20 years,” said Glenn Shreffler, executive vice president of engineering at MATCOR. “As production levels grow rapidly, it’s important to plan for the future and build the infrastructure to accommodate the increased capacity.”

“In both regions, as well as the Bakken Formation, corrosion engineering is an important element in public safety and for the protection of significant capital investments. MATCOR’s custom-designed cathodic protection systems ensure that infrastructure is designed to last. We encourage manufacturers in the Marcellus and Utica Shale to build with the future in mind.”

Utica Shale Facts

• The Utica Shale is estimated to be nearly twice as large as it’s more famous neighbor, the Marcellus Shale.
• Through 2015, Ohio is expected to create over 200,000 jobs and add $22 billion to the economy as a result of the Utica Shale.
• The Utica Shale supports 5,000 jobs directly, and almost 13,000 indirectly in the state of Ohio.

Marcellus Shale Facts

• The Marcellus Shale contains an estimated 84 trillion cubic feet of natural gas. Some geologists theorize that it could hold up to 500 trillion cubic feet of natural gas, which would make it the second largest field in the world.
• The Marcellus natural gas developments contributed $1.1 billion in tax revenue for Pennsylvania in 2010.
• Drilling in the Marcellus Formation has only affected .5% of the land mass in Pennsylvania – just 15,400 acres.

MATCOR, established in 1975, is one of the most experienced providers of corrosion technology. Our engineering and cathodic protection solutions are best in class. Call 800-523-6692 to contact us today.

Natural Gas Production in the Utica Shale Formation to Expand

Utica Shale Petrochemical Plant

Blue Racer Midstream, a new joint venture, has announced long-term agreements with producers in Ohio and West Virginia that will expand processing capacity in the Utica Shale formation.

Several producers working with Blue Racer Midstream have plans to increase natural gas production through new wells within the year. For new drill sites, cathodic protection for wells prevent long term investments from rusting.

Blue Racer is developing 600 miles of pipeline that will cross 24 counties and will have the capacity to transport over 1.5 billion cubic feet of natural gas every day.

As companies like Blue Racer Midstream are investing significant assets to extract natural gas from the Utica Shale Ohio region, the need for cathodic protection equipment is paramount.

“Increased natural gas production and capacity in the Utica Shale formation in Ohio and West Virginia regions provides new opportunities for jobs and investment.  Increased domestic production of low cost, clean burning natural gas will lead to new investments in chemical and petrochemical plants in the region as reliable energy sources are extremely important for the chemical processing industry,” said Ted Huck executive vice president, practice lead – plants/facilities, at MATCOR. “With hundreds of miles of new pipeline and the development of next generation of plants and facilities in the region, cathodic protection has never been more vital to protect significant investment in the region.”

What is Cathodic Protection?

Cathodic protection is used to combat corrosion of metal surfaces. MATCOR’s use of mixed metal oxide (MMO) anode cathodic protection has become an industry standard in cathodic protection.

Blue Racer expands its midstream infrastructure,”, March 1, 2014.

Pipeline Petroleum Transport Investment May Predict Growing Cathodic Protection Needs

If Warren Buffet’s investment strategy is any indication, pipeline efficiency is going to start playing a bigger role in moving crude oil and natural gas in the United States.

The Berkshire Hathaway luminary is pipeline-efficiency-cathodic-protectionspearheading a swap of about $1.4 billion in shares of Phillips 66 for full ownership of the energy company’s pipeline petroleum transport services business. The business unit’s focus is polymer-based additives that are used to move crude oil and natural gas through pipelines more efficiently by reducing drag.

The shift in Berkshire’s investment strategy comes amid a boom in U.S. crude oil and natural gas production. Since many liquids pipelines in the United States are operating at capacity, producers can use the pipeline petroleum transport additive to quickly increase capacity without immediately growing pipeline infrastructure.

Although future pipeline projects may be in the works to meet the sharp increase in demand, the process of gaining approval for new pipeline projects can be slowed by permitting.

A greater reliance on existing pipelines for transporting liquids means that producers and pipeline owners need to pay even more attention to cathodic protection management, according to Kevin Groll, project management director for MATCOR, a Pennsylvania-based company that specializes in cathodic protection products and services.

“Any time you have pipeline you have to protect it from corrosion,” Groll said. “And that’s especially true when you increase the value of a pipeline by increasing its capacity. If that pipeline were to develop a corrosion problem you’d be facing a situation where your profitability could suffer significantly.”

“With pipeline owners using additives to push greater volumes of liquids it becomes imperative to use cathodic protection products such as impressed current anodes and cathodic protection rectifiers to protect the increased capacity and profitability of the pipeline infrastructure.”

Further Reading

Berkshire Swaps $1.4 Billion in Phillips 66 Stock in Deal,” Bloomberg, December 31, 2013.

Following our success in 2013, MATCOR is expanding by hiring new talent for cathodic protection, corrosion engineering jobs.

MATCOR is a full service provider of customized cathodic protection systems to the oil & MATCOR_Vertical_webgas, power, water/wastewater and other infrastructures industries.  Cathodic Protection is a technique used to control the corrosion of a metal surface by making it the cathode of an electrochemical cell.  MATCOR has an array of proprietary cathodic protection products and systems combined with high-quality corrosion engineering services, and installation and maintenance services.

In business for over 40 years, MATCOR is considered the technology leader in cathodic protection and corrosion engineering.  MATCOR is headquartered in Chalfont, PA, has a major service operation in Houston, TX, provides turnkey services throughout the United States, and has a growing list of international distributors.  MATCOR has been named to the Inc. 5,000 list of fastest growing companies in 2011, 2012 and 2013. Because of strong continued growth, MATCOR is seeking talented new team members to fill cathodic protection and corrosion engineering jobs.

MATCOR employees and culture are driven by three core principles. Whether a technician, engineer or manager, these principles guide us toward positive relationships with our clients and positive outcomes to every project we undertake.  These core values are:  We Respect Others, We Honor our Commitments and We Act in a Safe and Responsible Way.

“Our cathodic protection and corrosion engineering job openings, from technician to management positions, offer you the opportunity to grow with our team of seasoned cathodic protection experts and become part of a unique culture,” said Doug Fastuca, president of MATCOR, “As we are experiencing tremendous growth and request for our products and service offerings, this is an excellent time to join MATCOR.  In addition to competitive benefits, you can become NACE certified and enjoy other advanced educational opportunities.”

Our ideal job candidates will possess these values and hold a positive attitude.  This is a rapidly growing company with many new career opportunities.  Your cathodic protection, corrosion engineering and management job opportunity is here, today!

View the open position here:

Marcellus Shale Production Data Hints at Growing Cathodic Protection Needs

Production from the Marcellus Shale natural gas reserves is expected to exceed 13 billion cubic feet per day this December, nearly seven times the 2 billion cubic feet per day it produced during the same period in 2010, according to a recent report.

The report on Marcellus Shale production data, by the U.S. Energy Information Administration, said the figure would equal about 18 percent of total U.S. natural gas production during the month.

One of the Marcellus Shale companies that’s taking advantage of the natural gas boom is Cabot Oil & Gas Co., based in Houston, which claimed 15 of the 20 highest-producing natural-gas wells in the area during the first half of the year.

According to Dan O. Dinges, Cabot’s chief executive officer, 10 wells from a single well pad in Auburn Township produced enough natural gas in 30 days to meet the average monthly demand of the entire city of Philadelphia.

Cabot plans to increase its Marcellus Shale drill rigs from six to seven in 2013, with each rig capable of drilling 20 wells during the course of the year.

The sharp rise in natural gas reserves production hints at the growing need for Marcellus Shale companies to incorporate pipeline corrosion control equipment like cathodic protection rectifiers into their gas delivery infrastructure, according to Chris Sheldon, who works as utilities practice lead for MATCOR, a Pennsylvania-based cathodic protection company.

“Marcellus Shale companies are experiencing a tremendous upswing in natural gas production and are building new drill rigs and digging new wells to take advantage of the vast natural resource at their feet,” Sheldon said. “That means a lot of new pipes are going to be laid. And more pipes means more opportunities for corrosion.”

“At MATCOR, we’re here to help Marcellus Shale companies, as well as other pipeline companies and natural gas producers, with a full line of advanced cathodic protection equipment, systems and services designed to help them meet their corrosion control needs.”

Further Reading

A Marcellus Natural-Gas Bonanza,” The Philadelphia Inquirer, December 10, 2013.

MATCOR Offers Take on Natural Gas Liquids Production and NGL Transportation

“There is much discussion about the abundance of natural gas deposits in Marcellus Shale, and there is tremendous focus in extracting this precious resource. However, the industry’s ability to get this product to the end user is impacted by the infrastructure that currently exists.

“While rail is a means to transport natural gas, MATCOR is working with a growing number of midstream companies in expanding transmission and distribution piping networks. The key is to get product to market in a cost-effective and safe manor, and MATCOR’s cathodic protection products and services help ensure any new pipeline, regardless of the product it delivers, is in compliance and protected from corrosion.”

John Rothermel, PE

Vice President of Sales, MATCOR

Pipelines Planned for NGL Transportation Through Central Pennsylvania

At least one company is looking to take advantage of the rapid growth of natural gas liquids production from two of the largest shale regions in the nation.

Sunoco Logistics, a Philadelphia-based company that transports, terminals, and stores crude oil and refined petroleum products, recently announced that it was surveying land for a new pipeline, dubbed Mariner II East, that would connect production of natural gas liquids (NGL) from the Marcellus and Utica  shale regions of Pennsylvania, Ohio, and West Virginia to one of the company’s oil and diesel tank farms outside of Mechanicsburg.

The company also has plans to convert its existing Mariner East I pipeline, which used to carry oil and diesel fuel west, so that it carries propane and ethane east to its facility in Marcus Hook, which had also been idled.

The company bought the refinery from the former Sunoco Co. earlier this year for $60 million and is spending an unspecified amount of money to upgrade it and bring it back online as a natural gas liquids production refinery.

Sunoco Logistics is betting on the continued growth of natural gas production, of which NGLs like propane and ethane are byproducts. Natural gas production has increased in recent years thanks to hydraulic fracking, which has resulted in a larger supply that has driven prices down and has therefore, like a circle, created bigger demand for natural gas.

As a result of this process, NGL production has climbed during the last four years from 50 million to 70 million barrels per month. But, without greater avenues for NGL transportation, the increased production is moot.

Sunoco Logistics says that its plan to build a new NGL transportation pipeline, and convert an old pipeline for NGL transportation, will help create a northeast NGL hub in Marcus Hook that will help meet the demands of NGL producers and local and overseas consumers.

The Mariner East projects are only a few of the pipelines being planned by Sunoco Logistics. The company has roughly a dozen oil and gas projects on the books over the next 12 months at a cost of $1.3 billion, four times what it spent on capital expenditures each of the last four years.

MATCOR offers cathodic protection safety products and services to companies like Sunoco Logistics, which require cathodic protection equipment to maximize safety, efficiency, and capital investment in their pipeline projects.

Further Reading

Sunoco Logistics Plans Marcellus, Utica Pipeline Through Susquehanna Valley,” The Patriot News, Nov. 21, 2013.

State regulators clear way for Florida Power and Light natural gas pipeline

A proposed $3.5 billion natural gas pipeline took a leap forward last Thursday and by 2017 is expected to be providing fuel to run Florida Power and Light Co.’s plants.

Florida’s two pipelines, the Florida Gas Transmission pipeline, and Gulfstream pipeline deliver gas primarily from such offshore areas as the Gulf of Mexico.

The pipeline’s northern 465 miles is a joint venture of Houston-based Spectra Energy subsidiary Sabal Trail Transmission and a newly formed subsidiary of Florida Power and Light’s parent company, NextEra Energy Inc., called U.S. Southeastern Gas Infrastructure LLC. The southern 126 miles, known as Florida Southeast Connection, is a subsidiary of NextEra.

The pipeline will travel through four Alabama counties, eight Georgia counties and 13 Florida counties. It will end at Florida Power and Light’s Martin County plant near Indiantown. The new pipeline will connect to FPL’s new plants under construction in Riviera Beach and Hollywood.

Commissioner Eduardo Balbis said the pipeline will help mitigate supply interruptions and price fluctuations. It’s also a plus that the cost is $450 million below that of other options.

The project is projected to create more than 6,600 jobs.

Jeff Householder, president of Florida Public Utilities Co., said the additional gas supplies, especially the cheaper shale gas, are needed for the state’s growth and economic development. He expects his company and others will build lateral lines from the pipeline.

Florida Power and Light has signed agreements with the two entities that will own the new pipeline for an initial 400 million cubic feet per day beginning in 2017 with an option for an additional 200 million cubic feet in 2020 and later.

Florida Gas Transmission’s pipeline has a capacity of 3,100 million cubic feet per day, and Gulfstream’s pipeline has a capacity of 1,300 million cubic feet per day

The project approved Thursday differs from a proposal the PSC rejected in 2009 when Florida Power and Light sought to build the 280-mile Florida EnergySecure Line itself.

The pipeline must be approved by the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission and other federal and state agencies. It would give the state 25 percent more natural gas capacity.


Spectra Energy to add as much as 7.3 bcfd pipeline capacity by 2017

Spectra Energy has more than 3.3 bcfd of US natural gas pipeline expansions under way, with another 4 bcfd of capacity in development.

Spectra Energy projects currently under way include the New Jersey-New York Expansion Project, Texas Eastern Appalachian Market (TEAM 2014), Kingsport Projects, Ohio Pipeline Energy Network (OPEN), Algonquin Incremental Market (AIM Expansion), and Sabal Trail Transmission LLC.

The 800-MMcfd NJ-NY Expansion will extend Texas Eastern’s reach further into New Jersey and into New York City for the first time, connecting Marcellus shale supplies in northeastern Pennsylvania with a delivery point in Manhattan. Customers of the $1.2 billion project include Chesapeake Energy Corp., Consolidated Edison, and Statoil Natural Gas. Spectra Energy expects the project, currently 95% complete, to enter service next quarter. Construction includes 15.9 miles of 30-in. OD pipe extending from Staten Island to Manhattan.

TEAM 2014 (600 MMcfd) will deliver gas from Marcellus producer customers to the northeast, Midwest, and Henry Hub markets. Customers include Chevron Corp. and EQT. Spectra Energy expects TEAM 2014 to enter service fourth-quarter 2014 at a cost of $500 million. Preliminary construction includes 33.5 miles of 36-in. OD loop at seven sites at four compressor units with a total 77,000-hp net addition.

Spectra Energy’s Kingsport projects will provide additional supplies to Eastman Chemical Co.’s power generation plant in Kingsport, Tenn. Spectra Energy expects to have 25-MMcfd of expanded capacity operating by next quarter, with an addition 61 MMcfd in service by first-quarter 2015. The $120 million project includes replacing 5.8 miles of 8-in. OD pipe with 24-in. pipe on the East Tennessee pipeline and installing 5.4 miles of 16-in. loop and 4.1 miles of 16-in. pipe between the Fordtown compressor station and the Eastman plant.

OPEN will deliver 550 MMcfd of Ohio Marcellus and Utica shale gas to US Gulf Coast and east coast markets. The $500-million project is underpinned by anchor shipping agreements with Chesapeake Energy Marketing and another producer. The projects features 73 miles of 30-in. OD pipe the Kensington gas processing plant in the Utica shale to Texas Eastern’s Clarington compressor station. A new 18,800-hp compressor station will be added along this line, with 5 existing Texas Eastern stations totaling 139,450 hp reversed to east-west flow. All components are expected to be operational by second-half 2015.

The AIM Expansion will move 300 MMcfd of Marcellus production from the Stoney Point compressor station to the Algonquin City Gate outside Boston. At an estimated cost of $850 million, Spectra Energy expects the project to enter service second-half 2016 serving customers such as UIL Holdings, National Grid, NiSource, and Northeast Utilities. Additional horsepower at almost every compressor station and expanding portions of the line to 42-in. OD from 26-in. will provide the additional capacity.

Sabal Trail Transmission LLC is a joint venture of Spectra Energy and NextEra Energy Inc. to deliver more than 1 bcfd via 480 miles of 36-in. OD greenfield pipeline from Transco Station 85 to the Central Florida Hub. Florida Power & Light is the charter customer, with others expected before the $3 billion project enters service first-half 2017. The pipeline will include five compressor stations totaling 210,000 hp.

Transmission projects Spectra Energy has in development include:

  • Uniontown to Gas City (U2GC), Appalachia to Midwest, 425 MMcfd, in-service second-half 2015.
  • South Louisiana Expansion (Sola), expand Texas Eastern to South Louisiana industry, 600 MMcfd, first-half 2016.
  • Gulf Markets Expansion, Texas Eastern to US Gulf Coast, 650 MMcfd, second-half 2016-17.
  • Renaissance, Appalachia to Northern Georgia-Atlanta, 1.3 bcfd, first-half 2017.
  • NEXUS, Appalachia to Eastern Canada local distribution companies and power markets, 1 bcfd, second-half 2017.

Pipeline Editor – Oil & Gas Journal


Natural Gas Well Drilled at Texas Motor Speedway

As the first natural gas well at Texas Motor Speedway was being drilled Tuesday, Hideki Makihara was more than a casual observer.

Natural Gas is at a premium  explained the Japanese lawmaker since Japan shut down its last nuclear reactor last week, a casualty of the Fukushima disaster in 2011. Since then, he said, electricity prices have doubled and Japan is paying some of the highest prices in the world for the natural gas needed to fuel its remaining power plants.

Natural gas that will eventually flow from Quicksilver Resources wells at the giant racetrack in far north Fort Worth should contribute to the surge in U.S. gas production, which has driven down prices domestically and could eventually provide relief for Japan.

“We want to import shale gas as soon as we can to reduce the price of electricity in Japan,” Makihara told the Star-Telegram. “So far, the cheapest natural gas in the world is U.S. shale gas.”

Makihara, a member of Japan’s House of Representatives, on Tuesday visited Quicksilver’s drill site on the north side of Texas Motor Speedway, where the Fort Worth-based producer started drilling this month. Quicksilver holds the lease on the 1,450-acre property, as well as on much of the neighboring Alliance development.

Quicksilver plans five wells at the current drill site on the edge of the racetrack’s sprawling parking lot, plus two additional drill sites on the west side with similar numbers of wells planned. It will also drill under the speedway from the east side of Interstate 35, something it did when it drilled at Alliance Airport, said Steve Lindsey, Quicksilver’s head of government and community affairs.

But race fans won’t see any rigs at the speedway next month. Drilling will cease and the rig will be moved for the race weekend starting in late October, Lindsey said.

The shutdown of nuclear power plants after the tsunami disaster is costing Japan billions. Japan’s industry ministry has estimated that the nation’s cost to import extra coal, gas and oil to run its non-nuclear plants will hit $93 billion by the end of 2013.

The crisis sent Japanese energy interests looking to the U.S. for solutions.

In March, Tokyo Gas, Japan’s biggest natural gas utility and a diversified global energy company, bought a 25 percent stake in Quicksilver’s Barnett Shale holdings, including the speedway land. Makihara was accompanied by Koji Yoshizaki, general manager of of Tokyo Gas America, based in Houston.

Tokyo Gas has also agreed to buy liquefied natural gas from a planned terminal in Maryland that recently won an export license from the federal government. And the utility continues to seek production in the United States, Yoshizaki said.

Under an agreement reached in 2008, the Fort Worth Sports Authority and the speedway will share royalties from production on the property, with much of the money going toward improvements at the facility.