|Marathon Terminal Mgr. Don Koch (right)|
describes new "river float" to be installed
to Wellsville Mayor Sue Haugh
|Construction of pipeline piers is already|
underway as seen here
A couple of weeks ago we were invited to an open house tour of the Marathon Oil facilities in Wellsville. The facility is located at the end of Nevada Street, the place with the big storage tanks between the railroad tracks and the river.
Today it is a transfer facility for asphalt using two of Wellsville’s available attractions for industrial users – the river and our excellent highway system. The asphalt is used in paving and material for making shingles. Terminal Manager Don Koch told us that with the damage brought on by Tropical Storm Sandy they have been extremely busy with their customers that manufacture roofing shingles. Marathon manufactures the slurry that is part of the shingle composition. It is brought to Wellsville in bulk using the river, transferred to those tanks and then loaded on truck tanks for shipment to the shingle manufacturers.
Marathon is now preparing to convert over to the handling of oil from drilling into the vast reserves in Utica Shale. This region of the country is sitting on a vast reserve of oil found in the shale. Once production is fully underway it is conservatively estimated that 20,000 barrels of oil a day will be pumped from those depths. We recently read that the U.S. oil field reserves will make the Mid-East reserves look puny.
Wellsville is ideally situated with readily available river, rail and highway transportation systems available to move massive amounts of freight to or from anywhere in the U.S. Ohio has been called the crossroads of America and Wellsville is located in the heart of those crossroads. They say history repeats itself. Wellsville got its start being a transportation hub moving freight in and out of the “Western Reserve”. With the Columbiana County Port Authority’s Intermodal Park Wellsville is poised to once again be a very busy transportation hub. Marathon is preparing to be ready to be a major part of that activity.
In conjunction with the Port Authority Marathon has been in negotiations with property owners buying up space to expand their operations in Wellsville. Plans are to build a pipeline from their present facility to land adjoining the Intermodal Park. Work is already underway at their facility preparing for the construction of that pipeline and the conversion of that facility from asphalt to oil transferring.
The tour we followed was mainly for the safety forces in town to familiarize them with what to expect in the near future. Koch told us there will be a new river float constructed that will be a closed facility not allowing any emissions to escape into the atmosphere, using a marine safe unit. Safety first will be the ruling consideration using all the latest available technology to protect themselves and their Wellsville neighbors. All construction will meet or exceed EPA standards. For some time now they have been obtaining the government approved permits for their construction and installation. Koch noted that a major training program is tentatively scheduled to begin next Spring, in April or May. That training will include local safety forces. Two new firefighting trailer units will be brought in – one will be kept at the Marathon terminal and one will be stored at the Wellsville Fire Dept. Marathon is even going to finance a building addition to the Wellsville station to store the trailer.
Marathon is getting ready for the exciting times to come in the energy sector and Wellsville will be a big part of those plans. As Wellsville Mayor Sue Haugh likes to say “it’s coming folks and once it starts, Look Out!”ole nib