Green Field Energy Services has found a home where homes were once built. “We cannot express enough how grateful we are to be in Monessen,” said Jerry Broussard, senior vice president of operations, during a ribbon-cutting ceremony that was anticlimactic in a sense. Green Field has already opened shop in Monessen. It began operations two months ago in a facility where Maronda Homes once constructed roofs for homes it builds, just up the hill from the Monongahela River. Mayor Mary Jo Smith’s careful wielding of the scissors made the opening official. The company’s core business is the fracturing services it provides for oil and gas drillers. Green Field touts itself as being the only company in the world that uses turbine-driven fracking pumps that can function using 100 percent natural gas.
It also takes pride in living up to its name, green – saying it operates while using lower emissions and requires a smaller pad at well sites. Green Field is making its Pennsylvania debut in the heart of the bountiful Marcellus Shale, seizing an opportunity while providing job opportunities in an area that needs them. Andrew Ward, head of marketing and contracts for Green Field, said a number of Western Pennsylvania sites were considered before Monessen was selected – just in the first quarter of this year. “We liked the proximity to oil and gas plays in Western Pennsylvania, and possibly West Virginia and Ohio,” he said. “Marcellus Shale offers such an abundance of dry gas.”
Smith said she was thrilled her city was selected. “We’ve lost a lot of industry, and this will be a first step in bringing industry back,” the mayor said. “The business that Green Field Energy does and the employees it hires have to be assets to Monessen.” People will be hired, to be sure. Broussard said there are 77 in Monessen, and that the “goal” is to have 200 on board a year from now, as business grows. With time, and prosperity, the employee pool could increase, of course.
Equipment operators, engineers, supervisors and office administration support staff – in particular – will be neede “We plan on hiring many people,” Broussard said. He speaks with a Cajun accent as thick as gumbo, and there’s a reason. Green Field is a private company based in Lafayette, La., that is a mere two years old. It is regarded as a small firm, but considering it started with 16 employees and now has a payroll of about 500, it is growing like a golden retriever puppy.
The company certainly has room, with a 78,000-square-foot building that can easily accommodate its trucks, equipment and probably a Pirates game-day crowd. The corporate offices are in a small roofed structure inside. Doug Farnham, of Farnham and Pfile Rentals in Rostraver Township, owned the former Maronda facility. Green Field’s signature is turbine-driven pumps. Ward said the turbines are from military helicopters that were allowed to be used for only a specific time before being “retired.” “We have contracts with the military,” he said. “We repurpose the turbines for our fracturing equipment.”
Ward estimated the company has a fleet of 14 trucks with lengthy trailers that are used for the fracking process itself. Green Field’s presence was widely praised during the event. “One of our commitments is investing in local communities, and Green Field is committed to that,” said Joy Ruff, community outreach manager for the Marcellus Shale Coalition.
“This is a great location, near major arteries, 18 miles from the (Pennsylvania Turnpike). There’s river and rail, too,” said state Rep. Ted Harhai, D-Monessen, who praised Green Field for having “a uniquely environmental-friendly way of fracking.”
The mayor was especially appreciative in her remarks to Broussard, Ward and other company officials.
“This is the type of thing that our community needs to grow,” Smith said. “We thank Green Field for hiring local people and wish you the best of luck.
“We hope you’ll prosper here, and we will do everything we can to make things good for you.”