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Business Association ends year with movie and presentation on gas exploration

By Staff | Dec 18, 2014

Field services manager from Halliburton, Joaquin Meza, gave a presentation to the MPBA last month on the Marcellus and Utica Shale explorations in the area.

MUNCY – The Muncy Professional Business Association ended the year with a holiday gathering at Orlando’s last week and a check giving donation by Mike Klein for proceeds to this year’s free movie, “Polar Express” held on Saturday afternoon at Muncy High School.

A special invitation was given to the Muncy Volunteer Fire Departments for their continued support and also FBLA members for their participation and fundraising efforts in the Corvette show and other Fourth Friday events.

In keeping with this year’s format, it was decided to continue having guest speakers for 2015. November’s meeting announced Joaquin Meza, Field Services Manager for Halliburton. He spoke on the Marcellus Shale, giving an overview of its geographic extensiveness, and the Utica Shale below the Marcellus Shale.

Meza who now lives in Muncy, has been with Halliburton for ten years, formerly in Texas before moving his family here. Using a video and handouts, he covered topics on fracking, horizontal drilling, well casing, shale exploration and even employment.

Questions arose on what was in the fracking oil. “Soybean and mineral oil,” replied Meza, “and 60,000 pounds of horsepower to pump it out.” Earlier productions used petroleum diesel, and now new technology is based on less chemicals according to Meza.

Another question arose as to how much drilling is here. “There’s an abundance of resources here. It would be hard to hold it back,” he announced. “It might slow down, but it’s not going to stop. The natural gas has always been here steady, not like feast or famine. It’s consistent.”

Other markets in the gas industry are opening up, such as nearby Canada where close to two thousand welders are already stationed there. “The demand is there,” he said.

How long is the drilling going to last, another member inquired. “The infrastructure is not entirely here yet. Texas has been producing 50 a year wells.”

Meza thinks that there’s a lot more here than what’s reported. Currently they are at 1,418 cubic feet a day. “That’s a lot of gas.” The company is going deeper to Utica which is thicker than Marcellus Shale.

“How many wells are here?” another member asked. Two thousand wells are here and still producing. “They’re still drilling up and down.”

There are two exploratory wells in Tioga County going 18,000 feet to Utica Shale and now producing double than Marcellus. “It has not tapped here in this area,” Meza explained. “The depth requires deeper rigs for here, and there’s not enough leased land to do it to drill.”

“There’s a lot of work out there. We are hiring every month. It’s a lifestyle of work.” The company hopes to hire 80 engineers in the Northeast, and will also have some administration and lab positions available. “We start at entry level but progression is fast. If you’re a high performer, you’re going to move up quick.”

Women are also welcome on the field. In six weeks, she can advance to a supervisor. Most crews work in 12 hour shifts with 18 weeks off during the year, two weeks on and one week off. Starting salaries begin at $13.50 an hour. Much of the work requires driving and there is a 60 pound weight lifting requirement.

In his ten years of employment, Meza said he now has 15 work crews with 160 employees and 13 divisions with Halliburton that he manages, hoping to go to 21 crews soon.