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Dominion volunteers assist Oil and Gas Museum

Employees of Dominion Energy maneuver a piece of oil field equipment into place outside the Oil and Gas Museum in downtown Parkersburg on Wednesday. The company provided volunteers and equipment to move the items and place them on compacted stone pads as part of Dominion’s Energizing Our Community program. (Photo by Tyler Bennet)

PARKERSBURG — Dominion Energy provided helping hands — and construction equipment — at the Oil and Gas Museum this week.

Nearly 20 employees of the natural gas utility assisted in moving oil field equipment and placing it on new pads of compacted stone outside the downtown Parkersburg museum.

They volunteered to participate as part of Dominion’s Energizing Our Community initiative, said Christine Mitchell, external affairs manager for the company.

The museum is dedicated to the history and impact of the oil and gas industry in the Appalachian Basin.

“That’s just a happy coincidence. That’s not a requirement” for the program, Mitchell said. “But I think it’s very nice that we’re preserving a bit of our industry’s history.”

Employees of Dominion Energy moved about a dozen large pieces of equipment off the lawn of the Oil and Gas Museum in downtown Parkersburg in preparation for the installation of compressed stone pads on Wednesday. (Photo by Evan Bevins)

Mitchell met with museum President Paul Hoblitzell several months ago after he applied for a grant. During a tour of the museum, she noticed some of the items outside were sinking in the grass, so they planned the project and Dominion solicited volunteers, in addition to providing $2,500 to cover supplies.

The work was originally slated for May or June but was canceled due to the COVID-19 pandemic, Mitchell said. Once it was determined the project could be done safely, it was rescheduled.

Dominion workers spent eight or nine hours Tuesday moving pieces of machinery, some weighing up to two tons, in preparation for Wednesday’s work.

“We’re going to level (the ground) up some too,” Hoblitzell said. “We’re getting stone bases to better show it, preserve it and keep the landscaping looking better.”

Dominion is also moving some of the equipment to the museum’s location at Burning Springs Park. That will help make room for a pipeline gas compressor donated to the museum years ago that has been stored at the Parkersburg Utility Board, he said.

Oil and Gas Museum President Paul Hoblitzell, right, talks with Dominion Energy supervisor Joe Hersman as they prepare to place compressed stone pads and rearrange equipment on the lawn of the downtown Parkersburg museum Wednesday. (Photo by Evan Bevins)

Employees of Dominion Energy prepare a space for a compressed stone pad for a piece of equipment on the lawn outside the Oil and Gas Museum in downtown Parkersburg Wednesday. (Photo by Evan Bevins)

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