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Petroleum company buys land: Improves ability to store, transport crude oil

Ergon Inc., a Jackson, Mississippi-based diversified petroleum company, has purchased seven parcels of land in Ironton to use as a petroleum storage facility.

The first three parcels, commonly referred to as the “tank farm,” were purchased this past September for $1.1 million from Keystone Industries LLC, Chris Kline, Lawrence County chief deputy auditor, said. The other four parcels were purchased last month for $5.92 million. Keystone Industries purchased the property from Marcoal in 2000. Ergon-Ironton LLC has a listed address of 2914 S. Third St.

A Nov. 6 press release disseminated by Jim Temple, director of communications for Ergon, announced the purchase and said the 47 acres of property and tanks capable of storing 100,000 barrels will be used as a terminaling operation.

“The Ironton facility improves Ergon’s ability to purchase and transport crude oil in the Ohio Valley region,” according to the press release.

Ergon Terminaling Inc. and its subsidiaries own and operate strategically located storage terminals and service providers. The terminals feed raw material to Ergon’s refineries, store finished products and supply customers, including major oil companies.

Products are off-loaded, sampled, tested and stored until they are ready for loading into tankers, railcars, trucks and barges, or fed through pipelines.

“Ergon has provided a market for Appalachian crude oil since purchasing the Quaker State refinery in Newell, West Virginia in 1997,” Barton Lampton, general manager of domestic crude oil for Ergon Oil Purchasing Inc., said. “This newly acquired strategic location in Ironton reaffirms Ergon’s commitment to both the region and the producing community.”

Along with transporting and terminaling raw materials and refined products, Ergon operations including crude oil processing, marketing naphthenic and paraffinic specialty oils, producing and marketing specialty asphalt products, manufacturing and marketing road maintenance products and machinery, propane marketing, oil and gas exploration and real estate development.

Ironton mayor Rich Blankenship, said he, water filtration superintendent Ryan Watts, building code enforcement officer John Willis and fire chief Tom Runyon met with officials from Ergon but it was not disclosed how many jobs the company would create.

“When we met they did not disclose the number of jobs,” Blankenship said. “We only discussed the purchase of the land, water, fire protection and building codes.”

A help-wanted ad for a terminal operator at the location was posted on ohiomeansjob.com last month but has since been removed.