The Dept. of Energy has named a panel of outside specialists to study natural-gas hydraulic fracturing. The panel, which DOE Secretary Steven Chu announced on May 5, will make recommendations within 90 days about immediate steps that could improve the safety and environmental impact of “fracking.” Panel members include representatives from industry, academia, environmental groups and state government.
The market is generally healthy and steadily growing, and margins are up for large specialty contractors. Further, advances in design tools and owner demand for collaboration are giving subcontractors a seat at the table early on in projects.