Even before most people in Lycoming County heard the words 'Marcellus Shale,' Environmental Services Laboratories Inc. was there helping the natural gas industry.
The company began in 1988 in Indiana, Pa., where the company's headquarters now is, to service the natural gas industry with the shallow gas industry operators located in and around the area.
"Since 1988, we've grown and expanded," Mike Moyer, chief operating officer, said.
In 2007, the company received its first Marcellus Shale order and opened an office in Washington County.
By 2011, clients were demanding a presence in the northern part of the state because there was a lack of quality control. A branch opened at 1200 River Ave. that same year.
"We're currently doing work in West Virginia, Pennsylvania and Ohio," Moyer said.
After the company first began with the shallow natural gas in the western part of the state and Indiana, to combat the dips and lows in the energy profit side of things, it expanded into the municipal market "to get that business regardless of energy prices."
The company provides predrill and preconstruction water surveys, waste characterizations, and natural gas analysis to Marcellus Shale, Utica Shale and conventional natural gas operators in Pennsylvania.
It also is accredited or certified to analyze drinking water, wastewater, soils, frozen dairy products, children's products and toys, lead in paint and air, and even meat products.
What separates the Environmental Service Laboratories Inc. from others that do similar tasks is the customer service, Moyer said.
"We pride ourselves on our customer service skills," he said. "We identify customer needs. We're taking good care of them for a long period of time."
The company employs more than 70 people throughout its offices. Two of those employees work in the Williamsport office.
"We're looking to double that in the next few months and be up over 10 by this time next year," Moyer said.
He said he expects continued growth and expansion, with increased work in the natural gas aspect of the business.
From 2007 to 2011, there was a 274 percent growth in sales and a 100 percent growth in employment.
"In just those short four years," he said.
Part of that growth comes from the knowledge gained over the years.
"(There's an) understanding of the industries what we're working for," he said. "Folks are very much involved and knowledgeable on regulatory side and understanding regulations. We apply how our business fits into those. When it comes to the natural gas industry, I can assure no other lab in the state of Pennsylvania has collected more pre-drill samples than us. Since the start of the company, tens of thousands of samples."
With the recent low prices of natural gas, Moyer said business will begin to stabilize.
"Obviously with the low prices now, we expect it to somewhat come to stable," he said. "Especially in newer areas, we expect to expand our municipal market."
More information about the company can be found at envlabs.com.