With the recent downturn in energy prices (mainly Petroleum, but also Natural Gas), we are often asked if Steel Nation is experiencing any downturns in business capacity. Our quick answer is: so far, so good! Most of Steel Nation’s work is in midstream and transmission compressor stations, which usually have at least a one-year planning and regulatory approval phase, and to date we have seen very little slowdown of stations in our backlog. 2014 was a productive year for Steel Nation, and 2015 has started with exciting new changes that will benefit our clients and vendors as we continue our pursuit of excellence in designing and building the absolute safest, coolest and quietest compressor stations in the energy sector.
Headquartered in the center of the Marcellus & Utica Shale plays in Washington, Pennsylvania, Steel Nation has quickly become the go to design-builder for all buildings needed for successful natural gas compressor, fractionator, metering, storage and transmission stations. In 2014, Steel Nation completed 57 projects in Pennsylvania, Ohio, West Virginia and Texas. Steel Nation was also awarded 49 new projects, with most scheduled to be completed by the 3rd quarter of 2015. In the first 7 weeks of 2015, we have been awarded 7 new projects for clients such as MarkWest, Williams, EQT, Southwest Energy, Access and Dominion. Our main goal is”Safety First – For Life”. We are very proud that we did not have any safety violations or incidents in 2014, and our EMR Rates continue to among be the lowest of any supplier in the oil and gas industry.
We are pleased to announce many new changes for 2015, and beyond:
Steel Nation – Engineering:
Steel Nation has brought most of our Engineering “In House” to quickly serve our client’s needs. In 2014, Mr. Ed Hirzel, P.E. joined Steel Nation as the Director of Engineering. Ed is an Army Veteran, a graduate of Carnegie Mellon University and has nearly 20 years of experience in civil engineering, and has the capability of stamping in all shale play states. Ed is building a team of AutoCAD designers to focus on foundations, HVAC, process flow, local permitting, electrical, sound mitigation, air handling and other critical disciplines that are crucial to designing safe and effective natural gas facilities.
Steel Nation – Tank Inspections
After the January 2014 Elk River chemical spill, the West Virginia DEP implemented state-wide annual inspections for all storage tanks throughout the state. Steel Nation was quick to respond, and to date, we have inspected and certified over 500 tanks, with over 50 contracted to be inspected in the first quarter of 2015. Tanks inspected represent chemical, coal, oil and gas, petroleum and other industry sectors.
Blast Resistive, Control and Administration Projects
As Compressor Stations mature, the next phase is to build safe control and administration office buildings for operations to effectively manage stations in a more comfortable environment. Steel Nation has designed proprietary blast resistant control, admin, PDC and MCC steel buildings that are rated up to 5 psig to ensure operators and equipment are protected in case of an explosion or fire. From full design of foundations, blast resistant exteriors, offices, locker rooms, kitchens and conference rooms, Steel Nation continues to provide turnkey solutions to ensure the safety of all operators at these important infrastructure facilities.
Pennsylvania DEP – Appoints Mark Caskey to the CAC (Citizens Advisory Council)
At the end of 2014, I was nominated, and appointed to the Pennsylvania DEP’s Citizen Advisory Council based on Steel Nation’s experience in Coal and Natural Gas resources. I was nominated by Pennsylvania State Representative Brandon P. Neuman (D-Washington County) and appointed by Speaker, Samuel H. Smith (R-66th District) for the 2015-2018 term. The Citizen Advisory Council’s is made up of 18 geographically, politically, and professionally diverse members. Its mission is to “ensure that all people of the Commonwealth enjoy the benefits included in Article 1, Section 27 of the Pennsylvania Constitution” which states “the people have a right to clean air, pure water, and to the preservation of the natural scenic, historic, and esthetic values of the environment.” The volunteer members of the CAC meet eleven times a year in Harrisburg to discuss the state’s environmental laws and make improvement recommendations to the DEP. The Council strives to represent all people of the Commonwealth and endeavors to bring a collective view of the public interest in environmental protection and natural resources, forged from the Council’s own diversity of personal experiences and perspectives.
With all of these new products and services, Steel Nation continues to focus on our pursuit of excellence in designing the absolute safest compressor stations in the world. Other systems that are part of our turnkey scope of compression work include: fire detectors, gas detectors, winter heating (electrical and fuel gas), combustion air intakes, and new air handing systems.
Finally, I would like to thank all of our clients for their continued trust in Steel Nation, and we wish the best for all of our brothers and sisters in the oil and gas fields.