As shale oil and gas production soars in states like Pennsylvania, Texas and North Dakota, the number of drill rigs towering over treetops is on the decline. Operators are becoming more efficient and advances in technology are driving other changes in oil and gas fields.
Several hours away from where drillers are boring down into Pennsylvania’s Marcellus Shale, Schramm Inc. is manufacturing new rigs that, in the words of CEO Ed Breiner, “take the ‘rough’ out of roughnecking.” Schramm’s latest model — the T500XD — requires 40 percent fewer workers than a conventional rig.
Last week, StateImpact Pennsylvania visited Schramm’s factory in West Chester, Pennsylvania to learn more about how technology is shaping the future of drilling jobs.
StateImpact Pennsylvania is a joint energy and environmental reporting project by WITF and WHYY.