By Ed Runyan
The Trumbull County Engineer’s Office is making plans for “15 to 20 well sites” for horizontal gas and oil drilling in 2013, and “probably more we’re not aware of,” an official says.
Don Barzak, director of governmental affairs for Trumbull County Engineer Randy Smith, told county commissioners Wednesday that “things are starting to ramp up” now that the county’s first horizontal well using hydraulic fracturing is being drilled.
That well is on Hayes- Orangeville Road in Hartford Township, where a spokesman for Halcon Resources said drilling began Friday with fracturing expected to start when drilling is finished in about a month.
Halcon plans to drill a second well in February on Brunstetter Road in Lordstown, and “at least six more are coming in a pretty rigorous and quick schedule,” Barzak said.
The county commissioners will be asked in the coming weeks to approve a second Road Use and Maintenance Agreement (RUMA) with Halcon, this one for the Brunstetter Road site, Barzak said.
There is another RUMA already in place for a site on Warren Sharon Road in Vienna Township with CONSOL Energy/CNX Gas Corp. of Pittsburgh, but a specific date for drilling on that site hasn’t been announced.
BP America has plans to drill 10 wells in Trumbull County this year, with the first of those planned for April.
To handle the number of RUMAs that will be needed, the county engineer’s office and its partner townships and villages have selected Jack Simon, former Liberty Township trustee, to serve as RUMA coordinator effective Jan. 21.
A committee consisting of Herb Lockhart from the county engineer’s office; Sam Plott, Southington Township trustee; and Dale Grim, Lordstown road supervisor, first reviewed credentials of the 30 people who applied for the job and recommended Simon. Smith approved the selection.
Twenty-one of 24 townships plus Lordstown and Newton Falls have joined in the effort to have one coordinator handle RUMAs across the county.
Three townships — Hartford, Fowler and Greene — didn’t participate.
Simon will earn $44,990 annually plus benefits. Half of the $87,190 budget for the position will be paid by the participating townships and villages. The county engineer’s office will pay the other half.