Atlas moving earth on Firestone Homestead

COLUMBIANA – Three new oil and gas wells are getting closer to completion along state Route 14 in Unity Township just outside the city.

The wells on the Firestone Homestead property were the first and only ones permitted to Philadelphia-based Atlas Noble LLC in Columbiana County this year.

The Utica shale drilling permits were issued through the Ohio Department of Natural Resources (ODNR) the last week of August and were the only permits issued in Columbiana County at that time.

Only five other permits were issued in the county in August and they were to Chesapeake Energy. Well permits have significantly decreased since then, with only one permit issued to Chesapeake in September for the Judy Brown property in Hanover Township. That well has already been drilled, according to the ODNR website.

The website also showed wells were permitted for Atlas Noble in Harrison County. Two were permitted in North Township in September and one in December of last year and the other in March of this year.

The company operates out of Moon Township, Pa., and began leasing property for oil and gas drilling in Columbiana County in May, with most leases in Unity Township and one in Fairfield Township, according to previous reports.

Land for the new wells began being moved weeks ago on the property situated between JDS Landscaping Supply and a pond. Since then two cranes and several trailers have taken up residence, assembling the necessary components for the wells.

Crews have constructed a partial buffer between the road and equipment by building up the soil and replacing the grass. The land remains unobstructed on the side nearest the supply store.