Three Winners Announced at 2017 Shale Gas Innovation Contest Finals Event

Three companies are winners in the Shale Gas Innovation Contest.
Three Winners Announced at 2017 Shale Gas Innovation Contest Finals Event - News

Updated: August 31, 2017

Three Winners Announced at 2017 Shale Gas Innovation Contest Finals Event

On May 9th in Pittsburgh during the 6th Annual Shale Gas Innovation Contest the following three companies each walked away with a winner's check for $20,000:

  • Frontier Natural Resources, Inc. - Commercialized the first small scale natural gas liquefaction facility in Pennsylvania utilizing natural gas from an adjacent gathering and compression facility. Second site under development uses stranded natural gas, opening opportunities across the state and nation.
  • PetroMar Technologies, Inc. - Commercializing FracView™, a low-cost LWD borehole imaging tool utilizing advanced dynamically focused acoustic transducer technology to obtain a very high resolution acoustic borehole image in any oil/synthetic liquid or synthetic) mud system
  • Sensor Networks, Inc. - Offering product line of permanently installed battery powered ultrasonic sensors, providing remote, wireless data collection of critical piping infrastructure's wall thickness

In addition to the three winners, a fourth technology submitted by the Department of Energy's National Energy Technology Laboratory (NETL) by Kelly Rose, Technology Geology & Geospatial Researcher, was highly praised by the contest judges and attendees, and was named the contest's Innovative R&D Winner.

The summary of that technology follows:

NETL - Developed a cost effective and near real-time early kick detection system that leverages data obtained from logging while drilling, measurement while drilling, or seismic while drilling signals to provide an early warning before the kick ascends to the rig floor

NETL is seeking partners to continue demonstrate and validate the technology, and a potential licensing partner to commercialize the technology.

Regarding the overall event, Bill Hall, Ben Franklin SGICC Director noted, "All of the finalists again displayed the diversity of ideas being brought forward by regional entrepreneurs and small companies. Continuous innovation is advancing every aspect of how the oil and gas industry operates, and uncovering these novel technologies is exactly what the Shale Gas Innovation Contest is all about."

​Loren Anderson, Director Technical Affairs at the Marcellus Shale Coalition, a contest sponsor and event judge commented, "Every year the Innovation Contest provides a platform for new technologies that are ready for deployment. With an ever changing and fast paced industry, these technologies provide solutions and improvements for our member's operations in the Appalachian Basin."

Tim Miller, Engineering Manager at Frontier Natural Resources commented, "We are honored to be recognized by the SGICC Shale Gas Innovation Contest as a 2017 Contest Winner. We value our relationship with SGICC and their encouragement of valuable innovations that continue to improve the safety and efficiency of the shale gas industry. We look forward to continuing to provide affordable and clean energy to all industries across Pennsylvania."

Earle Drack, VP of Business Development at PetroMar Technologies, Inc. noted, "We are honored to have our new FracView™ product recognized with this award. Technical innovation and the resulting increases in efficiency and reductions in cost continue to drive the growth and competitiveness of unconventional O&G, and of US Shale Gas in particular. The Ben Franklin's SGICC Technology Innovation Awards are just one example of how BFTP SGICC, the expert panel of judges, and the entrants themselves are a large part of the thriving technology innovation 'ecosystem' based in the Marcellus/Utica region."

Jim Barshinger, President of Sensor Networks, located in Boalsburg, PA noted, "We are honored that our submission "Wireless Corrosion Monitoring of Oil and Gas Infrastructure" has been recognized as a winner of the 6th Annual Shale Gas Innovation Contest. Working with the Shale Gas Innovation and Commercialization Center and Ben Franklin Technology Partners provides both important early-stage funding opportunities for technology startups like SNI and also invaluable opportunities to present our technologies to key industry managers and decision makers. We are continually impressed with the breadth and depth of technologies on display at the Shale Gas Innovation Contest and would like to extend our gratitude to the judges, contest organizers and our fellow competitors."

At the event, two winners were also announced for posters presented by students from CMU and Penn State.

The winners were:

  • Cold Energy Recovery from LNG Regasification, submitted by Nyla Khan, M.S. Civil & Environmental Engineering, Carnegie Mellon University
  • Fast and Robust Pattern Recognition for Re-Stimulation Candidate Selection using Subsurface Big Data, submitted by Eddie Udegbe, PhD Candidate, Department of Energy and Mineral Engineering, The Pennsylvania State University

Additional information, presentations and photos can be found on Shale Gas Innovation and Commercialization Center's website