Bluegrass Pipeline Project Explained to Landowners
COLUMBIANA, Ohio – Residents of Mahoning and Columbiana counties last night grasped a better understanding of a massive pipeline project that is slated to pass through the Mahoning Valley, as representatives of Bluegrass Pipeline LLC held an informational event for the public.
"I have some property that the right-of-way of this pipeline goes right through," said Don Floding, a resident of Columbiana County. "The property's been in the family since 1903 and there's a forest there. It's only about 11 acres and I'd hate to see them break it up."
Floding said the survey stakes run directly through his land, and as it stands, it looks as if the pipeline's path would miss the forested area. "I think they could go inside and not go through," he said.
Floding was one of about 100 people or so who attended the open house hosted by Bluegrass Pipeline at Das Dutch Village Inn, where booths were set up that provided literature on the scope of the project, safety measures, environmental compliance, lease acquisition and general information about the pipeline.
Bluegrass Pipeline, a partnership between Williams and Boardwalk Pipeline Partners LP, consists of 550 miles of new construction starting in Mercer County, Pa., The planned route moves south through Lawrence County, Pa., nicks the southeast corner of Mahoning County, and then moves south in Ohio through Columbiana and Carroll counties.
The intent is to transport natural gas liquids such as ethane, butane and propane directly from processing plants in the Utica and Marcellus shale plays in Ohio and Pennsylvania to Louisiana.
Eventually, the line will connect with an existing pipeline in Kentucky that will transport natural gas liquids to processors in the Gulf. There, the liquids would be processed into products such as ethylene, which is used in the petrochemicals industry to manufacture plastics and other materials.
"We started in April trying to obtain survey permission from landowners who are interested in working with us," said Rob Hawksworth, manager of land and GIS permits for Williams. "Within the next 30 days or so, we plan to start talking to landowners about acquiring easements and payments that way."
Hawksworth said Bluegrass Pipeline would like to wrap up the permitting process by the end of 2014 so construction could begin in 2015, and place the line in service by the fourth quarter of 2015.
Two lateral 20-inch pipelines -- one running south from Mercer County and another extending west from West Virginia would join at Noble County, Ohio. There, the gas would be transported in a 24-inch line until it ties into a 26-inch line in Kentucky.
The line would likely require additional processing plants that could separate "wet" gas from "dry" gas such as methane.
Bluegrass spokeswoman Sara Delgado said up to 6,000 construction workers would be needed to complete the project. "There's going to be many, many jobs for the new construction part of this project," she said. "That also translates into many ancillary services that are needed in the area."
Delgado said the volume of natural gas liquids moving out of the Utica and Marcellus shale is so great that the Bluegrass Pipeline is just a part of the solution in what is a growing shale play; that other processing and transporting concerns would be needed to handle the huge amount of gas the formations produce.
"There will be plenty for all regions,” she said.
The pipeline would be able to handle between 200,000 and 400,000 barrels of NGLs per day. "All along the route, this is a common carrier pipeline," Delgado said. "If there are industries that can utilize the product along the way, then they can certainly tap into this pipeline."
Delgado said northeastern Ohio has been very receptive to the project. "We've had very good conversations with landowners. We've been in Cambridge, Carrollton, tonight we're in Columbiana and tomorrow in Pennsylvania. We've had really great response."
May 30, 2013: Williams, Boardwalk Achieve Pipeline Agreement
March 7, 2013: From Utica to Gulf Coast: Pipeline Project Announced
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