Aqua America Inc. and Penn Virginia Resource Partners, L.P. completed an 18-mile pipeline to supply fresh water to certain natural gas producers drilling in the Marcellus Shale in north-central Pennsylvania.
According to Aqua America, it marks the first time water is being commercially supplied directly to drill sites in the Marcellus without the public-highway use of heavyweight 5,400-gallon tanker trucks customarily employed in well completions. In less than a month of operation, the pipeline has reportedly eliminated more than 2,000 water truck trips over rural roadways while supporting the creation of approximately 100 local jobs over the course of construction.
The pipeline project is owned and operated by Aqua – PVR Water Services, LLC, a joint venture of certain Aqua America and PVR operating subsidiaries. The 12-inch steel pipeline largely parallels the trunkline of PVR’s gathering system in Lycoming County and shares PVR’s existing rights-of-way. PVR built the pipeline and handled negotiation of water pipeline capacity contracts with producers.
Each company has invested about $10.2 million as of March 31 for construction of the first segment. The joint venture has entered into a three-year agreement with Range Resources – Appalachia, LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Range Resources Corporation, to supply fresh water to three of Range’s water impoundments.