, a venerable Pennsylvania energy company, is marking its centennial with a celebration of its history and an eye to the future.
The exploration and production segment of National Fuel Gas Company was founded on June 9, 1913 as the Mars Natural Gas Company, producing and selling natural gas. Over the decades, the company grew, acquired significant holdings, was re-formed and changed names several times.
Today Seneca, headquartered in McCandless, holds about 800,000 acres and operates about 3,000 wells in the state’s shale play, with significant operations in Elk, Lycoming, McKean, Tioga and Venango counties.
Rob Boulware handles public affairs for Seneca and his position, established about a year and a half ago, itself tells of a old-line company modernizing its operations. Boulware is busy creating the company’s first-ever radio ads and billboard, along with an improved web site, brochures and other manifestations of 21st century branding.
As a major landowner, Boulware says, Seneca has aggressively pursued innovations in technology and best environmental practices with, for example, the first fully natural-gas-fueled drilling rig in the Pennsylvania Marcellus Shale, and the use of recycled, coal-mine drainage, rather than fresh water, as part of the drilling process.
Currently, about 150 of its 200 Seneca’s employees nationwide are in Pennsylvania and the workforce has doubled twice in the last five years, Boulware says, as the company has expanded its drilling operations.
If natural gas prices continue to stabilize and even rise (“a hard asterisk,” Boulware notes), it is possible the company would go online with one or two more rigs in Pennsylvania, each creating about 50 contractor jobs onsite and another five to 10 in back-office support, in the foreseeable future.
Source: Rob Boulware, Seneca Resources
Writer: Elise Vider