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Ohio Utica Shale

Company wants to build pipeline to take Utica gas to Gulf Coast

By Bob Downing Published: February 17, 2014

A Texas company wants to build a 76-mile-long, $468 million pipeline extension to move natural gas from the Utica and Marcellus shales to the Gulf Coast.

Texas Eastern Transmission LP said in a federal filing that it has agreements with four companies to transport natural gas.

The Ohio Pipeline Energy Network or OPEN Project would run from Kensington in southern Columbiana County to an existing pipeline in Monroe County in eastern Ohio. It would run through Columbiana, Carroll, Jefferson, Belmont and Monroe counties in eastern Ohio.

Chesapeake Energy, CONSOL Energy, Total Gas & Power North America and Rice Energy have pledged to transport 550,000 dekatherms a day, Texas Eastern said in a 337-page filing with the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission.

A dekatherm is equal to 970 cubic feet of natural gas.

The gas would go to the Texas Eastern hub at Egan in Louisiana.

The new pipeline with bi-directional flow under the plan would mark a change in natural gas distribution in the United States.

Traditionally, gas has flowed from the Gulf Coast and western North America to the eastern part of the nation. But as the Utica play in Ohio and the Marcellus play in Pennsylvania, West Virginia and Ohio continue producing natural gas, projections show Ohio and surrounding states could become net natural gas exporters.

In addition to the 30-inch diameter pipeline, Texas Eastern would build a compressor station in Jefferson County and make adjustments to existing compressor centers in other states to allow bi-directional flow.

"The project is designed to provide pipeline transportation capacity to deliver new incremental production from the emerging Utica Shale and Marcellus Shale plays to growing and diverse markets in the Midwest, Southeast and Gulf Coast," Spectra said in a fact sheet. "The rapidly emerging Appalachian production area, including the Utica shale play, has created new opportunities to increase supply diversity for growing domestic natural gas markets. The Utica shale play is proving to hold impressive quantities of natural gas, oil and natural gas liquids."

The pipeline will provide direct access to the Gulf Coast for the first time for Utica shale natural gas, the company said.

Texas Eastern, a subsidiary of Spectra Energy Corp. wants to have the new pipeline and facilities in operation by Nov. 1, 2015.

The new pipeline has been in the works since late 2011. Partners involved in the project when it was unveiled in 2011 were Columbus-based American Electric Power (an electric utility) and Chesapeake Energy.

Spectra, based in Houston, filed its intent to proceed last June with the FERC. Four public meetings were held in the region. A formal application was filed with FERC on Jan. 31

The Texas Eastern pipeline system stretches 9,200 miles from Texas and the Gulf Coast to the Northeast.

It serves seven Ohio power plants and five local distribution companies. In Ohio, Spectra has 1,029 miles of pipelines in 22 counties. It also has eight Ohio compressor stations that push the natural gas to maintain velocity and pressure in the pipeline.

It is also a partner in the proposed Nexus pipeline that would carry natural gas across northern Ohio from Carroll County to Michigan and Ontario.

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Utica and Marcellus shale web sites

Ohio Department of Natural Resources' Division of Oil and Gas Resources Management State agency Web site.

ODNR Division of Oil and Gas Resources Management. State drilling permits. List is updated weekly.

ODNR Division of Geological Survey.

Ohio Environmental Protection Agency.

Ohio State University Extension.

Ohio Farm Bureau.

Ohio Oil and Gas Association, a Granville-based group that represents 1,500 Ohio energy-related companies.

Ohio Oil & Gas Energy Education Program.

Energy In Depth, a trade group.

Marcellus and Utica Shale Resource Center by Ohio law firm Bricker & Eckler.

Utica Shale, a compilation of Utica shale activities.

Landman Report Card, a site that looks at companies involved in gas and oil leases.FracFocus, a compilation of chemicals used in fracking individual wells as reported voluntarily by some drillers.

Chesapeake Energy Corp,the Oklahoma-based firm is the No. 1 driller in Ohio.

Rig Count Interactive Map by Baker Hughes, an energy services company.

Shale Sheet Fracking, a Youngstown Vindicator blog.

National Geographic's The Great Shale Rush.

The Ohio Environmental Council, a statewide eco-group based in Columbus.

Buckeye Forest Council.

Earthjustice, a national eco-group.

Stop Fracking Ohio.

People's Oil and Gas Collaborative-Ohio, a grass-roots group in Northeast Ohio.

Concerned Citizens of Medina County, a grass-roots group.

No Frack Ohio, a Columbus-based grass-roots group.

Fracking: Gas Drilling's Environmental Threat by ProPublica, an online journalism site.

Penn State Marcellus Center.

Pipeline, blog from Pittsburgh Post-Gazette on Marcellus shale drilling.

Allegheny Front, environmental public radio for Western Pennsylvania.