Deuce Transport

Daron Murton had worked as a well tender for 10 years, and was intimately familiar with the movers and shakers in the industry. So when companies became interested in the Marcellus Shale, the formation rich in natural gas reserves that stretches under Pennsylvania, he decided to put his knowledge to better use.

To produce gas from the Marcellus Shale, companies would need access to additional water at the well site. Knowing this, Daron envisioned starting a company to haul water as a support service for the industry, and building it into a substantial company.

He knew the industry, knew the key players and knew he could obtain contracts to serve that industry.  He needed assistance, however, to package his plan in a way that bankers could assess to make a lending decision.

That's where the Indiana University of Pennsylvania Small Business Development Center (SBDC) came in. The SBDC consultants assisted Daron in putting together a business plan, complete with financial projections that clearly documented the nature of the opportunity. 

Realistic revenue and expense projections were created that displayed the ability of the company to repay debt in the short term, but also to layout the potential for growth over a longer term.

Daron Murton was able to acquire the significant amount of capital he needed to purchase the equipment he needed to launch the business. 

Existing production techniques require the use of water to drill and fracture the well. Additionally, the brine water extracted as a by-product of the process must be disposed of in an environmentally safe manner. Drilling into the Marcellus Shale requires from 20 to 100 times the water as a conventional well drilled into sandstone layers. 

Thus, owing to the high demand for his services, Daron easily obtained a number of contracts to serve the industry. Additionally, he put in place an organization well-positioned to expand with the industry.

The development of the Marcellus Shale was occurring, but slower than many envisioned. A drop in energy prices and the fact that the State of Pennsylvania is wrestles with putting in place regulations to protect the environment has created uncertainty. 

Uncertainty regarding these issues has slowed development, but despite the tough times, Deuce Transport has managed to find success and is well-positioned for growth.

"The SBDC was a great help in getting my business up and running."

– Daron Murton
Deuce Transport