The energy boom is on. The advent of hydraulic fracturing and horizontal drilling has set the U.S. on the path to becoming the largest oil and natural gas producer in the world. The extraction of natural gas from the Marcellus Shale formation of Ohio, Pennsylvania and West Virginia is growing rapidly and crude oil from the Bakken shale formation of Montana and North Dakota produces more than one million barrels per day. Meanwhile, Texas continues to lead the nation in oil production. In fact, if Texas were a country it would be one of the top 15 oil-producing nations in the world.
Energy Booms leads to call for more welders
The recent surge in energy production has benefitted businesses near and far. One beneficiary of the recent spike in energy production is Welded Tube USA Inc. of Lackawanna, New York. In its first year the company plans to make about 100,000 tons of steel pipe used to push deep below the Earth’s surface in search of oil and natural gas.
Welders in Eastern Montana are also feeling the benefits of America’s surge in energy development. The drilling activity in the area’s Bakken formation has started an economic boom. Among the new jobs are welding positions and there’s a growing demand for qualified welders.
In an interview with Q2 news, welding instructor Bob Blackwell of MSU-Billings College of Technology explained, “What I’m seeing is actually a tremendous growth in the industry, and most of it is energy related,”
Welding instructor, Vern Watson of United Associated Local 30 added, “Oh yes, yes. Especially with this energy, so called, boom that the Bakken is bringing in,” Watson says. “You have to realize that it’s not only pipe-fitters that’s involved in this, but there’s tank people, there’s tons of welding to be done out there.
Energy Boom leads to Energy Welding Conference
The expanding energy markets have also increased the demand for new and improved welding technology, including the development of superior hybrid welding processes, new filler metals, and hosts of cladding procedures. The technologies are showing up in nuclear power plants, in coal-fired utilities, and especially in the new 1,700 mile long pipelines designed to bring oil and natural gas to American markets.
As part of its mission to advance the science, technology and application of welding and allied joining and cutting processes worldwide, the American Welding Society will host the Energy Welding Conference at the Hotel Monteleone, in New Orleans on February 5th and 6th, 2014.
The Energy Conference will feature leading welding experts who will address the most critical trends, applications and processes that have emerged from the industry landscape. The conference also provides several opportunities for attendees to network with speakers and other participants.
Conference topics include:
• Building Modern Ships: Energy Considerations
• Welding in the Energy Construction Field: GMAW-STT Welding, Orbital Welding, and Narrow Groove Welding
• Laser Welding and Cladding Applications
• The Use of AWS Rules for Nuclear Fabrication
Sources: Browning, Gil (2014). Montana’s Vast Untapped Oil Reserves. Montana Pioneer.; Hall, Kevin (2013). Energy boom brings new life to old businesses across U.S. McClatchy DC.; Douglas , Angela (2012). Energy boom creates growing demand in welding industry. Q2 News.