News Column

BP Stays in Ohio, but Moves HQ

Dec. 18, 2012

Burton Speakman

Oil and gas giant BP is moving its Ohio operations from a temporary location in Warren to a new headquarters in North Jackson.

BP has signed a three-year lease with an option for six more years at a former FedEx building at 12111 DeBartolo Drive in North Jackson, said Joe Uppercue, Ohio operations manager for BP. The building contains 5,000 square feet of office space and 38,000 feet of warehouse space.

"BP now officially has a home here in Ohio," said Curtis Thomas, director of government and public affairs for BP in Ohio.

The company was looking for a site that had room for quick expansion if necessary that was in an industrial setting and had good interstate access, Uppercue said.

"The location is about a 20- to 25-minute drive from operations in northern Trumbull County," he said.

In addition, BP plans to start drilling its first test well in Trumbull County in April. The expected site is east of Mosquito Lake and located about midway in the county, said Bruce Abbuhl, Ohio program manager for BP.

"We just had a meeting last week in Columbus about unitization for the site, and permits will follow," he said.

BP is anticipating drilling 10 test wells in 2013 in Trumbull County, and "if things go as we expect them to, there will be a lot more development," Abbuhl said. The locations are spread throughout the county to allow BP to gain understanding about what is in the county in terms of natural-gas liquids and dry natural gas.

All 10 drilling locations were selected based on location and access to state highways, he said.

BP is still receiving two-dimensional seismic information, Abbuhl said. That is helping the company to determine where to place drilling rigs.

The company is seeking location contractors for construction, electrical and mechanical work, Uppercue said.

"It's still too early to speculate about what companies will do the actual drilling," he said. "BP is going to try and use local workers whenever possible."

The company also is looking for another business to partner with at this point on midstream operations, Uppercue said.

It is possible a cryogenic processing facility could be necessary at some point in Trumbull County, Abbuhl said.

BP employees will be leaving their current location in Warren starting during the end of this week to relocate to North Jackson, Uppercue said.

There are some contracted workers who will remain in the Warren building because of its proximity to the courthouse, he said.

BP currently has leased oil and gas rights in eight Ohio counties, Thomas said. Locally the company has purchased rights in every Valley county. The company's first purchase locally was a deal with 84,000 acres in Trumbull County for $330 million with a group of property owners represented by the Associated Landowners of the Ohio Valley.

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Distributed by MCT Information Services



Source: (c) 2012 Vindicator (Youngstown, Ohio)


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