STEUBENVILLE - After months in the shadows, publicity-shy Hess Energy will open its Steubenville field office next week.
Operations Manager Joaquin Martinez said only that the opening will be in keeping with the corporate philosophy - a low-key celebration, with elected officials and only a few invited guests celebrating the company's million-dollar investment in the city.
The company is leasing the former Staffilino dealership on Sunset Boulevard.
ENERGY TALK — Hess Energy Operations Manager Joaquin Martinez spoke at Tuesday’s Partners in Progress meeting held at Jim Wood Park in Steubenville. The company will open its local office next week in the former Staffilino dealership on Sunset Boulevard. Ed Looman, right, Progress Alliance director, was part of the audience.
-- Linda Harris
Martinez, guest speaker at Tuesday's Partners in Progress meeting, said it's no secret the company already spent some $1.2 billion - $770 million to acquire Marquette Exploration, the other $500 million on a joint venture with Consol Energy.
"That's just the entry ticket into the game," he said, noting there's a lot of data still to be gathered from seismic activity, drilling, testing wells, flaring wells and producing wells, all of which will help them gauge the investment needed down the road.
"Until we know what we have, it's hard to say what kind of significant investment we're going to have to make going forward," he told the group.
But Martinez said the company hopes to drill and complete 10 horizontal wells in the Utica shale this year and have three rigs running by year's end. Hess also plans to install roughly five miles of gathering system pipeline.
"We're going to try and get ahead of the game and construct six more pads for next year," he added. "We know where the first eight will be located, and we're going to work on the next few for 2013. We'd like to have production going by the end of this year on three to five wells."
Martinez also said Hess, with 14,000 employees worldwide and operations in 23 countries, is committed to being environmentally responsible and goes to great lengths to protect the water supply.
The company was rated No. 1 last year in the energy sector for being green.
"We go in, and we sample the water before we do any kind of activity, to understand what the quality of the water was beforehand," he said. "Then we do our activities, and go back and test it again to make sure it's as good or better than when started. That's the environmental responsibility."
Likewise, he said Hess is committed to hiring locally, though its work force numbers alone can't be used as a gauge of its impact since much of its work is contracted through other companies. He also said the company works hand in hand with the communities in which it operates "to minimize traffic congestion, improve traffic safety and ensure quality road conditions."
The Partners meeting was held at Jim Wood Park.
(Harris can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org)