Catalyst

Range Resources Goes Electric Reducing Costs, Lowering Emissions in the Marcellus Shale

Over the past decade, Range Resources has become a well-known employer and natural gas producer in Western Pennsylvania. While most people associate Range with the pioneering of the Marcellus Shale back in 2004, the prolific rock formation that has allowed Pennsylvania to become a leading natural gas producing state, the company has actually been drilling wells in the state for more than 25 years.

 

Over the years, natural gas development has drastically changed due to new technologies that allow for companies like Range to tap into previously undeveloped geologic formations, like shales. This innovative culture has led the company to advancements such as horizontal drilling, water recycling and chemical disclosure.

 

As part of Range’s evolution in the Marcellus, the company recently partnered with U.S. Well Services for an electric frac fleet that uses next-generation Clean Fleet® technology. This fleet, which has its own turbine generators on the wellsite, will be 100 percent powered by natural gas. Range is one of the first companies to deploy this technology in the Appalachian Basin.

 

“Range has a record of deploying innovative technologies and solutions across our operations,” said Jeff Ventura, Range Resources CEO & president. “U.S. Well Services’ state-of-the-art fleet will help support our peer-leading emissions reductions goals, realize significant fuel savings and reduce associated sound levels, all while utilizing clean-burning natural gas to power our operations.”

 

This new fleet will not only improve capital efficiencies, but it will help the company, which has a stated goal of net zero emissions across its operations, operate in a cleaner and quieter manner here in Pennsylvania.

 

According to independent, third-party testers, the patented Clean Fleet® technology is proven to successfully reduce emissions by 99 percent, dramatically decrease sound pollution and generate operational cost savings upwards of 90 percent of fuel costs. This technology will reduce re-fueling traffic, site noise, vibrations and emissions.  Clean Fleet® successfully reduces emissions to near-zero levels. This reduction is achieved by eliminating all conventional diesel engines and replacing them with electric motors powered by natural gas generators. Range says it will use natural gas it is producing from one of their nearby well sites when operationally possible.

 

The fleet’s Whisper Technology provides a solution for noise reductions during operations, providing a quiet, low noise impact hydraulic fracturing. Third-party researchers performed a sound survey of the electric fleet and compared it to a conventional site. More than 140 total monitoring locations were recorded, and the result was up to a 69 percent reduction in the average sound pressure at the Clean Fleet® stimulation site compared to others.

 

“We are really proud of this next step of innovation,” said Ventura. “Identifying and engineering solutions to help reduce emissions is a must to meet the expectations we have set for ourselves. We want to be a sustainable operator for decades to come here in Pennsylvania, and advancements like this will help us achieve that.”  

 

Water Recycling

 

Water is essential to shale development and serves as a critical investment into the life of a natural gas well. The goal for Range Resources is simple: recycle and reuse to the fullest possible extent.

 

Range who pioneered water recycling in the Marcellus Shale back in 2009, achieved a 153 percent recycle rate last year. This recycle rate was possible due to an innovative “Water Sharing Program” which allows operators to recycle each other’s water.

 

Range began recycling water back in 2009 and achieved a 100 percent recycle rate in 2010. The decision to move towards water recycling not only made sense environmentally, by using less fresh water, it also has saved the company tens of millions of dollars since inception. 

###

Founded in 1916, the Pennsylvania Chamber of Business and Industry is the state's largest broad-based business association, with its membership comprising businesses of all sizes and across all industry sectors. The PA Chamber is The Statewide Voice of BusinessTM.