While we were still enthused from the excitement of last weekend’s Vote4Energy rally where thousands of New Yorkers came out to support natural gas, we headed to Harford Fairgrounds in Susquehanna County last weekend for the 3rd Annual Cabot Oil & Gas Picnic. The picnic has steadily gained popularity over the last three years with 4,000 coming out in 2010, 6,000 in 2011, and this year over 7,000 people were in attendance! Seeing that many people getting their questions answered, excited for the development in their region, and holding intellectual discussions on natural gas development really puts into perspective the term “Silent Majority!” It was an amazing day all around, as usual, and our hats go off to Cabot for the caliber of information distributed and level of commitment to the Susquehanna County community your picnic displays.
Knowledge is Power
While there were absolutely prizes and fun to be had throughout the day, the key component of the picnic was the opportunity for community members to become more knowledgeable of the process of developing natural gas occurring on their lands. Cabot had staff on hand from their land, completions, drilling, environmental stewardship, external affairs, geology, marketing and natural gas usage, and production departments to answer the full spectrum of questions presented by landowners.
Theses displays were manned with the engineers, geologists and others to help attendees better understand the information. Some fun items included FracFocus.org buckets to explain the substances used in hydraulic fracturing fluid, well casings, pieces of Marcellus Shale and more.
For those who weren’t able to attend, you can also visit AskCabot to get your questions answered.
Trade associations, like America’s Natural Gas Alliance (ANGA), the Marcellus Shale Coalition (MSC), and the American Petroleum Association’s (API) Energy Citizens, and other industry partners, like Halliburton and Baker Hughes, were also on hand to answer questions. Shelly DePue was also there to discuss Truthland and catch up with many of her neighbors, like those from Franklin Citizens for Truth who had a booth to sell their hit t-shirts.
Cabot Oil and Gas has a commitment to Susquehanna County to have the very best standards for their operations. As such, they unveiled their plans for a gas transport module which will be used to fuel their fleet with compressed natural gas. They’ll also be using it to decrease the amount of diesel fuel used on well sites, helping to improve air quality and emissions in the area.
Two natural gas drilling rigs in Susquehanna County are biofuel capable and the module – or “tube trailer” – will be ready to be filled at the Springville CNG station in Springville Twp., Cabot President Dan Dinges said.
The 9-cylinder tube trailer will be taken to the rigs and used to help power the drill rigs and cut the diesel use down by at least one-third, spokesman George Stark added.
“The system we’re utilizing is unique to Pennsylvania and the Marcellus shale play,” Mr. Stark said. “We’re happy to pioneer it here in Susquehanna County.”
Craig Almquist, a Cabot facilities engineer out of Pittsburgh, said the two converted natural gas drills can run about a 50-50 blend of CNG and diesel. Mr. Almquist spoke to those attending the company’s outreach effort.
“We’re happy with the turn-out and amount of dialogue, education and outreach,” Mr. Stark said. It’s wonderful for us to have the opportunity to showcase the new technology – especially how we plan to use natural gas in the county.”
Prizes, Fun, Food and Community
This picnic wasn’t just about educating the community on the natural gas industry. Organizations like the Center for Anti-Slavery Studies, Big Brother/Big Sister and United Way also had booths at the event and the library held a raffle, raising thousands of dollars for its efforts and for the local historic society.
Local educators from Lackawanna College, Johnson College, Penn State Cooperative Extension, Susquehanna County Career and Technology Center were also on hand to discuss workforce development opportunities and community educational outreach programs.
And of course there was free food, fun prizes like I-Pad’s and televisions, games for the kids including a dunking tank and Taylor Rental’s bouncy equipment, and great opportunities to interact with neighbors.
A Picture is Worth 1000 Words
We’ll leave you with a picture that was left on our Facebook page over the weekend on the heels of this picnic and the Vote4Energy rally to draw your own conclusions on as you compare it with those seen from these two events. They say a picture is worth a thousand words, and we couldn’t agree more.
To see more pictures from Cabot’s 3rd Annual Picnic, click here.