The Ben Franklin Shale Gas Innovation and Commercialization Center helps develop new innovations in shale

The introduction of hydraulic fracturing brought about a tremendous change in the oil and gas industry, a shift so pivotal that it is referred to as the shale “revolution,” a word often reserved for only the most seismic developments in the world. In the hopes of cultivating further innovation in shale energy, the Ben Franklin Shale Gas Innovation & Commercialization Center (SGICC) offers seed money for the most promising products and services in the industry.

Started in 2011, SGICC has provided $500,000 to past projects, which has been matched at a rate of more than 6:1, according to the SGICC. Recipients of SGICC seed money include:

  • Compass Natural Gas – Awarded $50,000 for the design and permitting of a CNG compression and loading station for its virtual pipeline network of truck-delivered CNG.
  • EthosGen – Awarded $50,000 to support a demonstration project of an ORC “CraftEngine” that converts waste heat to on-site renewable electricity at a Williams compression location.
  • FyreRok Reservoir Services – Awarded $50,000 to develop/test a prototype of an on-site unit producing Hypochlorous Acid for use as a biocide.
  • HalenHardy – Awarded $60,000 for validation testing of a “Mobile Air Shower” unit for silica dust removal from worker clothing, and also to support the commercialization of a series of products that promote safety at drill pad locations. A demonstration is taking place on a Universal Well Services pad.
  • HydroRecovery/Penn State – Awarded $25,000 to test a prototype unit offering a novel method to treat frac/produced water and drilling muds, recovering purified water.
  • KCF Technologies – Awarded $45,000 to demonstrate an early-warning failure detection system on drilling/fracing and midstream applications, and to test a high resolution video system to enhance vibration detection. Working with Universal Well Services, Williams, Cabot, ShaleNet (PCT and WCCT), and Lackawanna Community College.
  • PIX Industries – Awarded $40,000 to demonstrate industrial grade self-contained, (battery operated/wireless) methane gas sensor/monitoring system that can detect methane leaks/migration while operating from remote locations.
  • Sensor Networks – Awarded $50,000 for the development of a permanently installed ultrasonic sensor platform to monitor and report (wirelessly) pipe integrity in areas under attack by corrosion in pipelines and refineries. First demonstration to occur at a Phillips 66 refinery.
  • TekSolv – Awarded $40,000 to develop a gas-leak detection software solution that provides analysis and alerts/alarms of potentially dangerous accumulations of natural gas or NGLs during the drilling and fracturing process. Partnering with Antero Resources to demonstrate the system.
  • TM Industrial Supply – Awarded $50,000 to re-design an already commercially available large, high-pressure natural gas filtration and liquid removal enclosure used on midstream pipelines to work in a horizontal configuration for ease of filter swap-out and maintenance.
  • Well Control Technologies – Awarded $50,000 to provide multiple demonstrations of the “Down Hole Liquid Level Controller” (DLLC) system that removes fluid buildup automatically from wells, significantly improving production. Working with CONSOL Energy to prove system in both natural gas and oil production.

On May 12, 2015, the fourth annual Shale Gas Innovation Contest award ceremony will take place in Southpointe, PA, continuing the efforts of the SGICC to identify and support the next generation of shale energy innovators.

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