Industrial Complex near Columbiana, OH Gets Shale Makeover

The former National Refractories complex just outside Columbiana, OH is getting a shale gas makeover. Owner Jerry Stoneburner says the 300,000 square foot facility that sits on 100 acres will become both a shale gas wastewater treatment center and a transfer point to load railroad cars with crude oil and condensate being produced in the Marcellus and Utica Shale.

“If everything goes through, we’ll be a major distribution center” serving oil and gas companies operating in the Utica shale, Stoneburner said on the second day of the Teaming 4 Success Economic Development Summit at the East Liverpool Motor Lodge.

Stoneburner, president of Buckeye Transfer Inc. and Better Management Corp. of Ohio, said he’s developing two projects there. The first, worth $8 million, would bring a wastewater recycling operation to the site. "We have a contract with a Pennsylvania company to take brine water and recycle it," he said.

Wastewater discharged as a result of drilling and hydraulic fracturing operations must be disposed of in deep injection wells or recycled for reuse, Stoneburner said. The company with which he is negotiating is a perfect fit for the site, he added, noting that the former refractory plant is situated in the heart of the Utica shale play.

Three weeks ago, Stoneburner’s company, Buckeye Transfer, requested a zoning variance for the property for High Sierra Energy LLP, a Denver-based oil and gas logistics and marketing company.

The company plans to truck in crude oil and condensate to the former refractory and transfer the products to railroad cars parked on a spur at the site, Stoneburner said. The rail cars would carry the gas and oil to centers for further processing.

"The reason we bought the plant was because of the rail access," he said. Once these two companies are up and running, he estimates there could be more than 200 working at the site.

It could become a vibrant hub for distribution and storage for sand, water and pipe used in the oil and gas industry, he said.

Stoneburner’s venture is one of many that are making their way into the oil and gas industry.*

*Youngstown (OH) The Business Journal (May 9, 2012) – Former NRM Complex in Line for Shale Industry Makeover