WARREN - Drilling is under way in Weathersfield for the first of two injection wells planned by Howland-based American Water Management Services, and permits are being sought by another local company for an unrelated injection well in Warren Township.
A large rig set up along state Route 169 in Weathersfield Township just outside of Niles is drilling the new Class II Saltwater Injection well used for permanent disposal of oil field brine and waste thousands of feet underground.
Stephen Kilper, vice president of American Water Management Services, said Monday the facility is expected to be operational by January. It will be the the first by his company, which also gained a permit for a second deeper well on the same property. Work has not yet begun on the second well.
Tribune Chronicle / Brenda J. Linert
Workers on Monday drill a new injection well along state Route 169 in Weathersfield Township. The waste disposal well is the first of two planned for the site. Operator is American Water Management Services.
expects to operational by January.
"We are hoping to have additional ones as the Utica development grows and the Marcellus," Kilper said.
Kilper was referring to the Utica and Marcellus Shale Plays, two large areas of natural gas pockets buried in shale rock thousands of feet below ground. As drillers extract the natural gas products, there is an increasing need for disposal of the oil field waste including millions of gallons of salty brine water that bubbles to the surface in the hydraulic fracturing process.
According to documents provided by the Ohio Department of Natural Resources, American Water Management's first well is permitted to inject waste as low as 4,700 feet deep. The second disposal well is permitted for a depth of 9,100 feet. Permits for the two injection wells were granted July 18.
Also in Trumbull County, Warren-based Kleese Development is seeking permission to add a third injection well near the company's two other existing injection wells on U.S. Route 422 near Templeton Road, Warren Township. Kleese filed the application Oct. 11 asking to convert a former production well first drilled in 1988 to waste disposal wells.
An ODNR spokesman said the state agency is just beginning the Kleese application review process, but he could not specify how long the approval process might take.
Kleese Development Operations Manager Matt Kleese said he doesn't anticipate problems with the approval process.
"We are doing everything the state asks us to do. We didn't have any problems getting permitted for the other wells," Kleese said Monday.
Both Kilper and Kleese noted with the addition of injection well facilities brings with it a need for manpower.
"We are hiring community people," Kleese said. "We will probably end up adding 10 to 12 labor positions with pretty decent pay, and we offer health benefits."
Kilper said American Water Management also will operate manned facilities prompting hiring, but he said the details still are being finalized.