Out by the Mailbox: Big Rig Staging Area

For about the past two years that I have been associated with the OVEC and FracTracker, a lot of my time and travel has been to deep shale fracking well pads such as:

  1. EQT near Mobley in Wetzel County
  2. Statoil and HG energy, and then AEM in Wetzel County
  3. Trans Energy, Triad Hunter; in Lewis Wetzel Wildlife Management Area (yes, in a WMA)
  4. Stone Energy in the western part of Wetzel County
  5. Antero in Doddridge County
  6. Jay-Bee Oil & Gas and Statoil in Tyler County

For the better part of two years the existing foot print of deep shale drilling related activity near my home in Wetzel County, which Chesapeake Energy (CHK) started more than eight years ago, was rather dormant. Recently Southwestern Energy (SWN) bought out CHK and now it has begun to ramp up its activity on a number of existing well pads. For me personally that means daily viewing of all their trucks in their parking lot right behind my mail box down at the paved road. Fortunately, my home is almost a mile away. The parking lot is partially shown below; to show everything, I’d need a wide-angle lens.


“Thanks” to this uptick in activity, a lot of my recent travel has been very local. All of the well pads visited by the vehicles in this parking lot are slightly to the north of where I live, as in 5-15 miles.

Below is a selection of pictures from this past week (the week of October 12, 2015). SWN now has two drill rigs here and is starting one fracturing operation.

Note, in a couple of shots, that the big rigs were stopped on the highways waiting, for the school buses to pass, which is good of course, but permits for over-sized loads usually say these rigs should be off the road during school bus travel time.

The significance of the nighttime photos is that the industry is not allowed to have these over-sized, super loads on the roads after dark. The rig in the nighttime photos is of a coil tubing truck, likely weighing around 120,000 pounds.


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The Author

Bill Hughes

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