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ST. CLAIRSVILLE - Another representative of the oil and gas industry has been drawn to the promise of the area's resources and has opened its doors in town.
Paloma Resources is a privately owned oil and gas company based in Texas. They are currently operating in Belmont and Monroe Counties and may expand further. The company has been in business for 15 years, but this marks its first venture outside Texas.
"We're here. We've been up here a couple of months, trying to buy leases," said Rick Newton, agent for Paloma. "We're getting a foothold in the lease situation."
Newton said they are currently making the preparations to begin drilling wells.
"We buy leases," he said, adding that the company builds its own infrastructure and drills its own wells. They do not buy leases to sell them, but to make an investment in the area.
"We've acquired quite a bit of acreage to date," Newton said. "For last 90 days-120 days our people have been doing research and laying ground work."
For the present, the company is making read and preparing the paperwork for well drilling projects.
"Our intent is to get some good acreage blocks together and drill some wells," he said. "We're committed to the project and committed to the area."
"We've hired a lot of local people for title research. We've hired a lot of local attorneys for title opinions," he said, adding that while the company brought in employees from Texas, they employ more locals than Texans and have been working with local firms and brokers.
"We want to be good neighbors to the community and be good neighbors to Belmont County and Monroe Township. We will hired established locals whenever possible," he said. "Our interest is to do everything possible local and work hand-in-hand with the community."
He added that it will likely be several months before work begins on the first well.
"There's a lot of ground work to be done," he said, noting the need to meet all county and state regulations. After the first well is completed and the company is familiar with the process of county and state regulations. Succeeding projects should move more quickly.
"The success of this depends on how the first ones go. We would certainly like to drill as many wells as possible. It depends on the kind of acreage we can get," he said.
The company mainly constructs horizontal wells with laterals.
Newton added that the county has been very open to new business interests.
"The welcome has been great. Its beautiful county," he said.
Their office is located at 116 East Main Street. For more information, visit www.palomaresources.com
Source: Times Leader