By CASEY JUNKINS – Staff Writer , The Intelligencer / Wheeling News-Register
WHEELING – By manufacturing the 6,000-pound “cattle stop” for the Williams Partners natural gas processing plant at Fort Beeler, Brett Francis and Michael Siebieda are building their business in South Wheeling.
Operating Arrowsmith Fabrication out of a once-vacant building on Wood Street, Wheeling residents Francis and Siebieda are welding, fabricating and cutting their way into the Marcellus and Utica shale boom that is rushing through Ohio and West Virginia.
“We feel oil and gas is going to be our bread and butter in the future,” said Siebieda, explaining the “cattle stop” is a large steel device that Williams will place near the entrance to the Fort Beeler plant to keep animals out of harm’s way. “These operations are mostly out on farms, so they want to keep the cattle out of there.”
As Siebieda and Francis perform work for Williams – and try to receive more jobs from additional oil and gas companies – they are running a new business they know would probably not exist without the burgeoning shale rush.
A new survey by Huntington Bank shows that about 75 percent of West Virginia residents believe there will be more jobs and companies coming to the state because of the opportunities shale presents. These jobs could involve welding and machining in the line of Arrowsmith, or they could involve trucking, housing, chemical supply, or a number of other areas.