Oil business flowing into Bellaire

BELLAIRE — The village’s economic outlook grew much brighter Wednesday morning.

At a hastily called new conference in council chambers, Bellaire staked a claim in the ever-booming oil business.

Waco Oil & Gas made that a reality when the Glenville, W.Va.-based company announced it was setting up shop for its Ohio operations in the All-American Town. Waco President Doug Morris said the company is purchasing the Ideal Place on West 23rd Street to serve as its headquarters.

Until recently, Waco did most of its drilling in West Virginia. Morris, son of Waco founder Ike Morris, however believes Bellaire and Eastern Ohio offer a win-win scenario.

“The best deals are when everyone makes money. We believe this is an opportunity for not only us, but Bellaire, local businesses and many others to make money,” Morris said. “We loved the look of Bellaire when we visited. It is a big city compared to Glenville. But we also like the people, like the landscape and like the opportunity this town presents.

“Exxon is our horse. That is who we are affiliated with. They are the big boys and they do things in first-class fashion,” Morris said. “We intend to hire 20-25 people right off the bat. They will be local hires. I am sure as we progress, the work force will continue to grow.”

Several village council members, chamber officials and Police Chief Mike Kovalyk were in attendance. Morris assured them that Waco will do things in proper fashion.

“My dad is old school and he says you are only as good as you look. We plan on having properties all throughout Bellaire just not the Ideal Place. You will be proud of how they look and how we operate. Communication is the key,” Morris said.

Morris was accompanied at the press briefing by several of his company officials, including public relations coordinator Doug Cottrill.

“We started this project in November with Exxon. It will consist of several phases which will be marked by a large influx of people,” Cottrill said. “We hope this means as much to Bellaire as it has to towns like Moundsville and New Martinsville across the river. We are ‘Waco of Bellaire.'”

He noted the project is massive as Exxon is looking to cultivate some 900,000 acres in the Ohio Valley.

Waco’s Operations Manager Vernon Walker also addressed village officials. After a question from one councilman, Walker laid to rest any concerns about road damage. Walker said Exxon is adamant in ensuring roads are of the highest quality during the work and after they leave the area.

The press conference was initiated by Greg Duvall. He resides in Key Ridge, right outside of Bellaire. He has property which Waco and Exxon are drilling on. Duvall speaks of both in glowing terms.

“They have provided service we are not used to. This is no fly-by-night operation,” Duvall said. “Exxon and Waco people are very accountable. They live up to their commitment.”

Bellaire Solicitor Ed Sustersic welcomed Waco officials to the village.

“Exxon has shown a high degree of professionalism so we expect the same with Waco. Thus we welcome you to join our vision. We ask you promote as much business as you can for Bellaire.”

According to the company’s website, Waco Oil & Gas is one of the leading oil & gas production companies located in West Virginia. Waco has a staff of approximately 100 employees, broken down into the following departments: land, technology and mapping, accounting, drilling, production, and field service and swabbing. Waco’s team completes all the work necessary to operate a successful production company. Waco’s land department concentrates its efforts on the acquisition of mineral interests and the permitting of drilling locations. The shop and field personnel build the well locations, drill and complete every well and manage the production of every well in a manner that maximizes production. Waco also offers a complete line service work to the oil and gas industry with state-of-the-art service rigs, swabbing rigs and field equipment.

Waco is concentrating its efforts on drilling Marcellus Shale wells and increasing production. Waco essentially drills one Marcellus well every two weeks in the Appalachian Basin. During the last 32 years, Waco has successfully drilled more than 1,000 producing wells in West Virginia.

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