Area Business Already Versed in Shale Drilling

From the Canton Repository:
GREEN — Drilling for oil and gas in shale is new to eastern Ohio, but it’s old hat for one of the area’s engineering companies.
Hammontree & Associates has been involved with shale drilling since 2008. The engineering firm’s client list includes names such as XTO Exxon, Hess, Chevron and Consol.
Several Hammontree engineers, including Charles F. Hammontree, president and chief executive officer, found themselves at a meeting in State College, Pa., in 2008 where they heard about efforts to develop the Marcellus shale in southwest and northeast Pennsylvania.
Companies needed engineers to design drill pads, address environmental issues and ensure that roads were in shape to handle heavy equipment. Hammontree’s engineers already had experience in Ohio’s oil fields.“We saw a market that could use our services,” Charles Hammontree said. “It was all of the things we’ve been doing for our customers for 45 years.”
“It just fit together like a puzzle piece,” said Barbara Hammontree Bennett, land development engineering manager and a managing partner in the firm.
Since 2008 the company has designed more than 400 well sites in Pennsylvania, West Virginia and Ohio. Hammontree engineers also have helped build networks that move gas and oil from wells to refineries.
OIL INDUSTRY TIESR. James Hammontree formed the engineering and surveying company in 1966. Charles and Barbara —  brother and sister — followed their father into the business.
The company’s ties to the oil industry go back to the 1960s when it helped local companies prospecting the East Canton Oilfield. Hammontree offered surveying services and helped with plotting the vertical wells that dot the county.
Company headquarters are at 5233 Stoneham Rd. in an industrial park that Hammontree engineers designed. Hammontree also has offices in Delmont, Pa., east of Pittsburgh — it bought Morris Knowles & Associates in 1980 — Weirton, W.Va., and this year opened an office in St. Clairesville.
The new office is a result of Utica shale development in eastern Ohio, but not just oil field development. Hammontree has worked on industrial park developments in Gurnsey and Monroe counties, and 50 miles of waterlines in Belmont County. The company also handles bridge and load limit inspections for several county engineer offices in southeast Ohio.
KEY BUSINESS UNITTying into oil and gas drilling development in the Marcellus shale of southwest Pennsylvania and West Virginia helped Hammontree navigate the economic recession in 2008, Charles Hammontree said. Work in the oil fields replaced the downtown in residential and commercial development.
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