Drilling Down

Marathon Extends Open Season for Utica Pipeline

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FINDLAY, Ohio — Marathon Pipe Line LLC and Ohio River Pipe Line LLC have extended the open season for its Cornerstone Pipeline and other Utica shale build-out projects until April 13.

The binding open season was to initially close March 13, but the companies opted to extend the window another 30 days “to allow additional time to discuss opportunities and address the needs of interested shippers,” Marathon said in a press release.

Some industry observers speculated the extension results from the slow-down in drilling operations in the Utica and Marcellus shale.

“Due to significant interest in the Cornerstone Pipeline and Utica build-out projects thus far, Marathon Pipe Line and Ohio River Pipe Line are extending the open season to finalize transportation service agreements,” the release said.

The Cornerstone Pipeline will originate in Harrison County, Ohio, and deliver oil and gas from the Utica shale to Marathon Petroleum Co.’s Canton refinery and to Ohio River Pipe Line’s tank farm in Sparta, Ohio.

Cornerstone is designed as a 16-inch pipeline system that connects to various Utica shale condensate stabilization facilities, fractionation plants, cryogenic plants, and future gathering and storage facilities. Plans are to have the pipeline in service by late 2016.

Volumes of oil and gas would be then shipped from the Sparta tank farm to markets though Utica build-out projects, which consist of new construction and usage of existing pipelines. These pipelines would connect many of the Midwestern refineries to the Utica shale and reach Chicago and into western Canada.

The estimated in-service date for the build-out projects is mid-2017.

Published by The Business Journal, Youngstown, Ohio.