How Oil and Gas Producers are Investing in Road Systems

In Dust Control, Oil & Gas, Surface Management by Lynn Cielec

When existing infrastructure is not viable, oil and gas producers must invest in their own road, pipe or rail infrastructure.

In certain cases the only feasible option is to build a road, and the maintenance it requires will vary depending on the level of usage, the quality of construction, and environmental factors.

Oil and Gas

The United States has seen a dramatic increase in production of both oil and gas, and it is now the global growth leader in crude oil production capacity, and the largest natural gas producer, according to the American Petroleum Institute.

This level of supply will strain the U.S. infrastructure and its ability to provide efficient transportation for the oil and gas industry. Driven by this rapid growth, oil and gas producers have had to directly invest in transportation infrastructure themselves.

The increase in capital spending is reshaping the U.S. oil and gas infrastructure landscape, but it’s also affecting the transportation industry. The railroad industry is expected to see severely increased demand in the United States over the next 30 years.


Roads are more important than ever in areas where there are no pipelines or railway tracks. In remote locations it might be more economical to build or upgrade a road than to lay a track or pipeline.

In these situations, deciding whether to pave the road is a necessary consideration, and the maintenance costs involved with each option are significant factors.

An alternative to paving is to stabilize roadways by increasing the structural strength and loading capacity (in terms of the CBR ratio) of surfaces and sub-grades.

During the construction phase of a tarred surface, dust control is an issue, and will continue to be an issue if the tarred surface is prone to accumulating dust on its surface. Gravel roads require ongoing maintenance and dust control throughout their lifetime.

Oil and gas transportation has an environmental impact, and public scrutiny is currently high about the effects that road dust can cause. Road dust ranges from fine through to coarse particulate matter that contains both man-made and natural pollutants, and becomes airborne primarily through the friction of tires on gravel and dust-covered paved roads.


This dust is harmful for humans because it can aggravate existing health conditions such as asthma and have adverse effects on people with respiratory conditions and heart disease, as well as young children and the elderly. To compound the problem, toxic and cancer-causing chemicals can attach themselves to this airborne dust, intensifying their effects.

Particulate pollution can cause significant problems both for human health and the environment and should be minimized.

Midwest Industrial Supply answers the question of how to balance economic growth with improved care for the environment by providing dust control products and solutions for road dust control, storage pile dust control, and many others, to stop particulate matter from entering both the air and water.


Gravel topping can reduce the creation of dust on unpaved roads. Knowing the constitution of the gravel is important as it can contain harmful substances such as asbestos. Water can be sprayed on dusty roads, but needs to be done on a daily basis and is not always available. It can also reduce traction, which leads to further safety hazards.

Midwest offers a high-quality service and proven dust control products that are safe, reliable and effective, and have been rigorously tested and certified by independent agencies.

With mounting government pressure to clean up the gas and oil fracturing sites, Midwest also offers solutions to help oil and gas producers keep their pollution levels under control.

Healthier Communities

Your employees, the roadside communities and wildlife will thank you for minimizing the dust created by heavy transport machinery. Employees will be able to work unencumbered and therefore more efficiently, and you will avoid environmental pollution which could result in litigation or fines. The cost savings in the long term will be significant.

Midwest’s solutions comply with the PM10 and PM2.5 requirements of the Clean Air Act, and will not contaminate storm water runoff or groundwater with volatile/semi-volatile organic compounds or heavy metals.

Lynn Cielec is the Industrial Business Unit Manager at Midwest Industrial Supply. She is an experienced executive sales director with a proven track record of results and sales growth. Effectively utilizes consultative selling methodologies within a CRM system while incorporating other value based selling tools. Expertise in building and leading high performing sales teams, strategic planning, P & L management, new business development, compensation development, market/trend analysis, new product launches and multi-sales channel distribution.