WARREN - Gas and oil well drilling companies say activity could begin in Trumbull County as soon as sometime in the next six weeks, according to the Trumbull County Engineer's Office.
And when it's time for the heavy machinery and trucks to begin rolling over roads, bridges and culverts, officials want to be prepared, which is why an agreement is being readied to protect the county's infrastructure.
Conversations between the engineer's office and two drilling companies so far indicate wells will be drilled on property near the intersection of Warner Road and Warren Sharon Road in Vienna; on property along Ridge Ridge, also in Vienna; and ground on Hayes Orangeville Road in Hartford.
Tribune Chronicle photo / R. Michael Semple
The ‘‘Welcome to Vienna’’ sign at the intersection of Warren Sharon and Warner roads also marks the area near where county officials believe a natural gas and oil well will be drilled in Trumbull County.
The talks have been with Consol Energy, based in Canonsburg, Pa., for the Warren Sharon Road property and with Carrizo Oil and Gas, out of Houston, for the other property in Vienna and on the land in Hartford.
It doesn't appear that permits have been issued, according to the Ohio Department of Natural Resources website.
But it was talks with the engineer's office, where it's been indicated drilling activity could commence sometime in the next month to six weeks, said Don Barzak, engineer's office director of governmental affairs and grants and special projects coordinator.
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There will be a meeting 11 a.m. today on the fifth floor of the Trumbull County Administration Building, 160 High St. N.W., Warren, for local officials to learn about a road use and maintenance agreement for hydraulic fracturing and infrastructure in the county.
So today, county commissioners are expected to approve a model roadway use and maintenance agreement that can be used by the county and cities, villages and townships in the county to provide for repair and maintenance of infrastructure hurt by drilling activity.
''It's important we have an approved document in place to protect the infrastructure of the county,'' Barzak said.
There will be a meeting today for local officials to learn about the agreement, for which work began in January.
In part, it calls for operators to post a bond to cover the costs of damage caused activity related to drilling. Bond amounts would be announced today, however, Barzak noted that it would cost about $516,000 conservatively to build, from scratch, one mile of road.
Bond amounts will vary. Companies who agree beforehand to address infrastructure improvements, based on approved engineering, to accommodate for damage caused by drilling-related activity will have a lower bond. Those who don't, their bonds will be higher, Barzak said.
Engineer Randy Smith called the contracts ''boiler plate agreements'' that can be used by all the communities, but they are flexible enough to make sure individual community concerns are addressed in an appendix.
Barzak said the office also plans to take pictures and video of the roads before drilling activity for a log. ''We expect our road system to be left in the same shape it was then they found it,'' Barzak said.