Welcome back to The Link-Up, your weekly rundown of our favorite stories from the past seven days in the oil and gas industry!
We did it, you guys! Well I didn't do it, other than throwing links into a blog post once every week. Someone did it. Either way, glad that one's resolved forever.
Oh. It never actually ends, does it? See you next election.
It certainly wasn't easy.
A much less publicized - but much more entertaining - industry-related vote happened in Youngstown, OH where voters rejected a proposed fracking ban in the city for the eighth time. The issue has more or less been forced at every possible turn by activists named Ray and Susie Beiersdorfer (although Ray unfortunately passed away last month), even though... nobody really wants to frack in Youngstown anyway, the good stuff tends to be a little further south.
Honestly, and I know I've said this before, but one of my absolute favorite things about all of this is how it produces research and technology with potential applications outside of oil and gas while also minimizing environmental impact and waste within the industry.
Pitt’s team of researchers from the Swanson School of Engineering was awarded a $1.76 million grant by the Department of Energy to conduct pilot tests of a membrane distillation technology, which is a new method of treating hydrofracturing wastewater used to release methane in Marcellus shale, which is prevalent in Western Pennsylvania, and Utica shale rock formations.
The Pitt squad, with the help of industry partners, is also looking at how to capture the heat thrown off by fracking sites to use as part of the distillation process.
Hey if you want our home region to supply the whole country with natural gas, that's perfectly fine with us of course, but we're going to need some pipeline. This one, which heads up to Michigan, had hit a number of regulatory issues but is now ready to roll.
Even with record production, a complex and intertwined series of events (coal shutdowns, increased exports, and unusually cold weather to name three) is still pushing natural gas prices up for the time being. "It's cold, you still have to buy gas." How's that for marketing genius?
See you next week!