CAMBRIDGE -- Several hundred people from the area accepted an invitation to "meet and greet" personnel of the latest gas and oil company that is getting ready to makes its presence known in Guernsey County.
EQT, a major player in the Applachian Basin and one of the country's largest natural gas producers, rolled out the welcome mat at the Deerassic Park Education Center in Cambridge Sunday, Sept. 30,, and gave visitors a chance to get an up-close look at some of the equipment the company uses for its construction and drilling activity.
The kids had fun climbing into the bucket of the gigantic backhoe. (Which was immobile, of course.)
"We want to introduce ourselves to the community. This is our first time in Guernsey County and we are very excited to be here," said Steve Schlotterbeck, president of EQT's exploration and production division. "We want to get our message out. We would like to become part of the community.
"EQT, formerly known as Equitable Resources, was in Ohio years ago in the Lordstown area. EQT is just our call letters. Our focus is natural gas ... the discovery of the Utica shale presents us with a perfect opportunity to return to the area."
Schlotterbeck said EQT "is just getting started" in Spencer Township where the excavation phase is underway.
"We are planning on drilling two test wells. We have a permit for one well and a second permit is forthcoming. We will begin drilling by the end of October and hope to have production results next year. As most people in this area probably know, drilling a well is a tedious and long process. But, we are optimistic," he said.
Although striking gas and oil can be extremely lucrative, the average cost for drilling one well is $8 to $10 million.
EQT has been in business for more than 120 years and has 1,800 employees throughout the company.
For more information, visit www.EQT.com.