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Member Spotlight: Jeff Moore, Moore Well Services, Inc.

Posted By Lyndsey Kleven, Communications Coordinator, Tuesday, June 30, 2015

The member spotlight series features legacy OOGA members who have been a member of the Association for at least 10 years. If you would like to recommend someone to be highlighted, please contact Lyndsey Kleven

Background information:

Jeff Moore and his brother Keith grew up in the oil and gas industry, taking the lead from their father Bob. Once the brothers reached adulthood, they already had an idea of what they wanted to do.

Moore says, “We were initiated into the oilfield by growing up with our dad and working from day one, our education is straight from the field.”

Although Jeff himself never considered going outside of the oil and gas industry, there have been opportunities where he could have gone in a different direction. All in all, he always felt it was best to stay loyal to the family business.

About Moore Well Services, Inc.:

Bob Moore started Moore Well Services, Inc. in 1996, following the closure of KST Oil and Gas Company, and set up shop just down the street in Stow, Ohio.

“We’re a conventional company trying to do conventional things,” Jeff said. “We’re looking for other options and avenues to increase our revenues in times like these, just like everyone else.”

The company has 10-15 employees and will basically do everything that involves oil and gas work. Moore Well Services has 240 of its own operating wells; does well service operations, all the way to oil spill clean ups, and has disposal wells, including a 7,000-foot well in Cuyahoga Falls. The staff is made up of full time pumpers, a service work team, full roustabout crew, full rig crew, mechanic, and water truck driver.

Working for his father since 1985, Jeff, along with his brother Keith, found themselves transitioning towards running the company in 2007 when their father and his business partner both became ill. Jeff said it was a nice transition to have his father around for the following two years to advise how to run things. In 2009 when their father passed away, Jeff and Keith took over the company.

“Our work load has definitely shifted to the service side right now. We are pushing really hard to get a bigger customer base, broaden our footprint, and get as many customers as we can. In the late 2000’s we were more focused on production operations and drilling as much as we could.”

Most of their producing wells span from Cleveland to East Liverpool, with the majority of the wells being in Summit County. Recently Moore Well Services branched out into the Ohio Department of Natural Resources (ODNR) orphan well program. In late December, Moore Well Services worked to plug a leaking natural gas well in the Admiral Ernest J. King Elementary School, known as the Admiral King Elementary project.

“We physically had to remove a part of the school, cut a hole in the gymnasium floor and mobilized operations inside the gym to plug the well. That was probably our most high profile plugging project, it was extreme, the school district shut down and evacuated the school for three months. We were able to set new surface pipe and eventually plug the well, along with another orphan well located in the same area.

The ODNR orphan well program has kept Moore Well Services and other contractors very busy over the past year. With the downturn in oil and natural gas prices, it has been a good focus while business is slower. 

Another project Moore currently has an interest in has been the processing and marketing a new natural saltwater product call AquaSalina. The product is used as a pre-treatment for de-icing roads and dust suppressant, it is all-natural and has a low freeze point (-15° F), which is lower than man made salt brine.

Moore partnered with Dave Mansbery of Duck Creek Energy, Inc. the innovator and creator of AquaSalina. They repurpose conventional brine water from wells that have been in production for over a year and run it through a vigorous filter process developed by Mansbery. 

“The product is a pre-treatment for roadways, parking lots and driveways. It’s being produced, repurposed and sold to ODOT, municipalities, and landscapers statewide and across the US.” 

Repurposing brine water and channeling it into a practical product is both innovative for the industry and is helping to cut down on the need for other disposal methods. The product is currently being sold at multiple home improvement locations across Northeastern Ohio, an area that can greatly benefit from a product like this during its harsh winter months.

OOGA Involvement:

Joining the Ohio Oil and Gas Association (OOGA) in 1996, Moore has been a member of the OOGA for nearly two decades. Moore is currently involved on the Producers Committee and has previously been involved with the Environmental Committee. He is also active in the Regional Producers meetings and was elected Region 1 Producers Representative.

“You have to be a contributing member to the Association, it’s important for members to stay loyal and for the Association to stay loyal to all of its members, both conventional and shale. It’s constantly on-going in this industry, with all of the issues, and the committee meetings and Association help to keep everyone up-to-date.”

Moore cited the greatest value being in all of the work that goes on behind the scenes with the OOGA. Also that the Association does a good job of keeping its members informed of everything that is going on. He also highly regards the Ohio Oil and Gas Energy Education Program (OOGEEP) for getting out on the front lines to educate the general public, often times to unapologetic antis.

State of the Industry:

Moore cited the decline in current market prices as putting everyone in a tough position, as well as the increase of shale drilling being the source of increased regulations and awareness across the industry as a whole. 

“I think the biggest thing we need in our industry right now is stability, we need a stable market price, the current state is way too low. It’s very hard and puts everyone in a position where they are constantly having to reevaluate, cut back hours, cut back manpower, and still maintain operations”

The company recently relocated their office from Stow to Mogadore as other means of cost savings and to tighten their belt wherever the can. Moore sees the next 5 years as being a lot of the same for the conventional driller. Currently they’re feeling the repercussions of Marcellus gas, and he feels the Utica will keep coming following the Marcellus peak. 

“We’re in for a long hull, to obtain stabilized pricing. It is a cycle with a new twist, regarding the shale play in the area. Enforcement has increased along with some new regulations influenced by the recent shale activity. Whether you are a conventional producer or a shale producer we are all have a target on us with the media and anti-groups.”

Moore said fracing is constantly being accused as problematic. He noted more than 30 years ago wells all across northeastern Ohio have been hydraulically fractured. 

Shale-development’s impact on business: 

Moore Well Services works on conventional drilling, producing and servicing, when asked if they any interest in the Utica, at any capacity, Moore said, “I think you have to have interest.” The company’s current equipment isn’t capable of Utica work at the present time. Moore compared his current equipment to shale equipment that he’s seen in Carroll County, and described their (shale) work over machines as being bigger than Moore’s (conventional) drilling rigs.

“We’re conventional. We have not taken any shale water in our disposal water. We missed an opportunity, but it was a calculated risk keeping true with our conventional partners.

Moore feels he has missed some opportunities financially, but wanted to stick with its loyal customer base the company has developed relationships with over the years. Moore Well Services has been able to keep its rates low and is trying to stay steady in a rapidly changing world.

“Shale impacted conventional operators, dramatically, in a negative way. We’re still dealing with conventional wells, conventional productions and we’re getting a sub-conventional price, and everyone is in a tough position currently. Most of our gas is both produced and sold locally, and very few of us get into the main transmission lines at this point. Our gas comes in, turns around and goes right back into the local communities and I think there’s value in that.”

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