Falcon Drilling LLC

Falcons are known for their ability to fly at high speeds and change direction rapidly – some have been recorded diving at 200 miles per hour, making them the fastest-moving creatures on Earth. As birds of prey, their speed assists in the hunt, and they are further aided by their notoriously sharp vision. Additionally, in tests measuring avian intelligence based on a bird’s innovation in feeding habits, falcons were among the birds that scored highest.

Falcon Drilling LLC does its best to model its operations after the strengths of its namesake. The company describes itself as a “mobile, fast and cost-effective top-hole air drilling” operation. Its fleet of equipment allows Falcon Drilling to quickly respond to clients’ needs, maintain smart and safe operations, and reach depths up to 10,000 feet.

Based in Indiana, Pa., Falcon Drilling was founded in 2001. It drilled its first well in the Marcellus Shale in 2007, and now primarily operates in the Marcellus fairway in Pennsylvania, West Virginia, New York and Ohio. The company explains it operates 13 drilling rigs that are capable of drilling depths of 6,000 to 10,000 feet, and it is capable of setting 20-inch casings and smaller. Falcon Drilling has its own fleet of tractors for moving its equipment, and has a fleet of conventional service rigs.

The company’s fleet of drilling equipment includes:

  • Schramm TXD – This trailer-mounted rig has a 200,000-pound hookload and reaches drilling depths of more than 10,000 feet with a four-inch full-hole drill pipe. Falcon says this automated drilling system has all new equipment and a small footprint.
  • Gefco Speed Star 185 – With a 185,000-pound hookload, this rig can reach drilling depths of more than 9,000 feet and is capable of directional drilling.
  • Atlas Copco RD-20 – This rig has a 120,000-pound hookload and reaches drilling depths of 6,000 feet with an all-steel drill pipe. Additionally, it is “easy rig up and rig down,” Falcon says, and covers a small footprint.>/li>

‘Transformative Impact’
With much of its work occurring in the Marcellus Shale Formation, Falcon Drilling is a member of the Marcellus Shale Coalition (MSC). The Marcellus Shale is the second-largest gas shale in the United States and one of the top natural gas shale plays in the world. MSC explains that it is committed to the “responsible development of natural gas from the Marcellus Shale geological formation and the enhancement of the region’s economy that can be realized by this clean-burning energy source.”

Politicians and business owners have long stressed the important role that U.S. manufacturers play in creating jobs and strengthening the country’s economy, and MSC notes that responsible shale development plays a large role in this. In fact, a December 2011 study from PricewaterhouseCooper (PwC) showed that U.S. manufacturing companies could employ an additional million workers by 2025 due to American shale gas.

“Shale gas has the potential to spark a U.S. manufacturing renaissance over the next few years, boosting revenue and driving job creation, as a result of several substantial advantages,” according to the study. “Shale gas-rich areas within the United States, including states around the Marcellus basin and the Gulf Coast, would likely benefit the most,” in terms of job creation.

PwC found that “full-scale and robust” shale gas development through 25 would benefit the U.S. manufacturing sector and broader U.S. economy in a number of ways. “Lower feedstock and energy costs from shale gas could help U.S. manufacturers reduce natural gas expenses by as much as $11.6 billion annually through 2025,” the study said. Additionally, manufacturing companies could employ approximately 1 million more workers by 2025.

“The safe production of shale gas has been a game-changer in a variety of regions and among a variety of sectors throughout our economy – notably manufacturers,” MSC President Kathryn Klaber said in a statement. “At a time when national economic and employment indicators are uncertain at best, shale gas producers and their vast and dynamic supply chain are providing families and communities jobs and economic development at a time when they’re needed most. The Marcellus Shale is a case study in the transformative impact of the natural gas industry. In Pennsylvania and surrounding states, tens of thousands of jobs are now supported by our industry and dozens of sectors – from steel to construction firms – have been revitalized through the promise of clean-burning and abundant American energy.”