Could Ohio be getting another natural gas processing plant and a fractionation plant in the Utica shale region?
Texas-based Kinder Morgan, the nation’s largest pipeline company, is eyeing Tuscarawas County for such facilities, but no decisions have been made, company spokesman Richard Wheatley said Monday.
Last week, another company, EV Energy Partners, referenced a Kinder Morgan project during its fourth-quarter and 2012 earnings call with analysts and the media.
Company Executive Chairman John B. Walker said the industry has invested $6 billion in Utica shale pipelines and processing plants in Ohio, prior to Kinder Morgan’s “recent announcement” on the two plants.
Wheatley, in a telephone call, denied that his company has made any announcements recently about development in Tuscarawas County.
Last spring, word of Kinder Morgan’s plans surfaced at a transmission conference in Washington, D.C.
That report indicated Kinder Morgan wants to build a processing plant to handle up to 300 million cubic feet of natural gas per day, plus a fractionation plant to handle natural gas liquids.
The fractionation plant, which separates various mixes of hydrocarbons into their individual components, might be expanded later to 192 million barrels per day of capacity.
Such plants typically cost $300 million to $500 million each.
At present, five other natural gas processing plants have been proposed or are under construction in eastern Ohio: in Mahoning, Columbiana, Harrison (two plants) and Noble counties.
With 300 million cubic feet of capacity, the proposed Kinder Morgan facility would be the third-largest gas processing plant in Ohio.
Tuscarawas County Commissioners Kerry Metzger and Chris Abbuhl said they had no information on the company’s latest plans. There were discussions more than two years ago about a possible processing plant in the Uhrichsville area, but the county has not heard anything recently, Metzger said.
According to its website, Kinder Morgan is the third-largest energy company (based on its combined enterprise value of $100 billion) in North America. It owns or operates 75,000 miles of pipelines and 180 terminals.
It has four publicly traded entities: Kinder Morgan Inc., Kinder Morgan Energy Partners LP, Kinder Morgan Management LLC and El Paso Pipeline Partners.
Bob Downing can be reached at 330-996-3745 or email@example.com.