Qld CSG TO LNG noise solution

NOISE Solutions has revealed to ICN sister publication Energy News how it helped Queensland’s three LNG megaprojects secure their critical social license by suppressing unwanted noise from the massive CSG to LNG build-out and well program.

Anthony Barich

Noise Solutions, which only recently expanded with a facility in Pennsylvania in the heart of the Marcellus and Utica shale boom that has the state awash with gas, undertook a series of theoretical noise studies for the Queensland LNG operators and then built solutions throughout the project pipeline from the well heads to the LNG trains.

The company, founded in 1997 to provide engineered industrial noise suppression for North America’s energy sector, has also done work for Chinese-backed WestSide Corporation’s Meridian SeamGas fields west of Gladstone in Queensland’s Bowen Basin.

Noise Solutions president Scott MacDonald told Energy News during a tour of the region that his company went big on Australia during the LNG boom over the past several years with Queensland’s megaproject operators BG Group, Origin Energy and Santos for Queensland Curtis LNG, Australia Pacific LNG and Gladstone LNG respectively.

This work was done through engineering firm Zetkin Group, now part of Amec Foster Wheeler, in a world where Noise Solutions has few competitors as it provides the “entire package” of buildings, including ventilation, and muffler systems (silencers) – a rare thing in the industry.

MacDonald said his company’s work proved critical in getting the community on board in a local environment where some elements were hostile to CSG development, stunned at the sheer numbers being bandied around, like the 40,000 wells needed across the Surat and Bowen basins for full development.

“The less environmental impact to the community, the better everybody works together,” MacDonald said.

“We help ensure harmony between industry and community. We get involved in town hall meetings where clients are asked the tough questions of whether people will actually hear or see what’s going on.

“Nobody wants to be an unfriendly type of an atmosphere.”

While Noise Solutions has also done work directly for supermajors in the US like Royal Dutch Shell, Chevron and ExxonMobil, it also deals with a lot of North America’s pipeline companies and much of the work comes from compressor companies themselves.

Though Noise Solutions only expanded its physical presence in the US in 2013 when it opened an office in Pennsylvania, MacDonald said the company said the company had been selling into the region since before the boom started a decade ago.

The company now has a sales office and manufacturing and engineering facility in Pennsylvania, a sales office in Colorado, engineering out of Calgary and a manufacturing plant in Delburne, Alberta, from where it has been manufacturing industrial noise suppression equipment for the oil sands, oil and gas, mining, power generation and aerospace industries since 1997.

As North America converts power plants from coal to gas, Noise Solutions is also undergoing a major drive into power generation.

“The bulk of our focus has been on industrial work in the US and Canada,” MacDonald said.

“When Australia was booming we put a lot of effort into there. We’ve been doing a bit and seeing more opportunities in Africa, but to be direct, sometimes for noise control and different construction methods the government has to step in to ensure it is happening.

“We’ve seen potential growth into Russia, but it’s not something we’re putting a ton of focus into [at the moment].

“We haven’t done a lot in South America though we’ve seen some opportunity there.”

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