Landowners across America — and especially in Pennsylvania’s Marcellus Shale region — have been leasing their land to allow drilling companies to extract natural gas. The deals come with potentially lucrative benefits, but also risk and responsibility.
The way Manish Gorawala saw it, no one was handling the responsibility part very well.
“I found a lot of issues with the logistics, management, efficiency and giving access to the site data to all the players in the industry easily,” said the MyShaleWell founder and CEO. “I wanted to make that data easily accessible and transparent. Basically, MyShaleWell is a platform to manage well sites effectively.”
Gorawala presented his web platform at a Greater Philadelphia Chamber of Commerce event that highlighted his work. The event, part of the Chamber’s ConTechs initiative (for which, full disclosure, Technical.ly served as a media partner) aims to connect minority-owned businesses, companies and tech influencers.
“We are trying to bring more innovators to the area by showcasing ideas like MyShaleWell,” said Tiffanie Stanard, CEO of Prestige Concepts, LLC, which organized the event. “By bringing entrepreneurs like these together, we’ll enhance the overall perspective on the Philadelphia tech community.”
Gorawala’s platform seeks to connect the drilling community.
From the residents’ perspective, wherever there is a well site set up by an energy producer there are many activities that go on in and around the site. Some of these annoyances include traffic, noise, pollution, big trucks hurting the landscape and other environmental issues.
“With the absence of our platform, the landowners don’t have the information about the sites that are in their community,” said Gorawala. “Now the service providers and energy producers can keep the community updated with information that they previously did not have.”
Another issue facing landowners: problems receiving and managing royalty payments.
MyShaleWell allows energy producers to enter the payments directly onto the platform, creating a data-rich dashboard shared with the landowners.
The pricing model for community members, landowners and workers is free. There’s a charge for the service providers, suppliers and refiners, though they get a six-month free trial. After that the energy producers pay $50 per user per month. But for the suppliers, service providers and refineries, its only $10 per month.
The platform is built to save industry members money, by making their logistics more efficient.
When asked for a projection on profits, Gorawala was a little vague. His ambitions, however, are large. “My goal is to globalize the industry with my platform and make this available to all landowners and energy producers worldwide,” Gorawala said.
He wants to include all of the players from the bottom up to the heavy hitters.
Gorawala is currently raising between $250,000 and $500,000 for a seed round to take his venture to the next level. The company has been self-funded until now.
“I joined the advisory panel for the development of the MyShaleWell platform because it is directly solving many big issues that have been facing the shale gas industry for a very long time,” said Michael McCawley, a professor at West Virginia University. “Manish is addressing issues such as environmental monitoring, community engagement, safety and security of workers.”
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