Plenty of work to be done before construction of gas transmission line begins
COLUMBIANA – Bluegrass Pipeline expects to begin laying pipe in 2014 once final approvals for an 1,100-mile gas transmission line, which will cut diagonally across Columbiana County, are acquired.
Senior Project Engineer Lee P. Andrews said the company, owned by Williams and Boardwalk Pipeline LLC, is in preliminary stage of obtaining survey permissions from landowners
“That’s all we’ve done,” he said, adding they haven’t obtained right-of-ways.
“It’s very early in the procedure, we’re in the process and need permission of landowners first,” he said, adding there is no eminent domain.
Andrews estimated there are “likely over 3,000 tracts” of land along the entire route that will require negotiations.
More than half of the proposed route will consist of existing lines that will be converted to become part of the Bluegrass system.
He said the project began last year when it became clear the Marcellus and Utica shale region was attractive to oil and gas companies and Williams and Boardwalk Pipeline LLC agreed to develop a pipeline to carry natural gas liquids from the shale plays in Ohio, Pennsylvania and West Virginia to Texas.
The proposed route of 20-inch line, which has not been finalized, will enter Columbiana County in Unity Township and move southwest diagonally toward Hanover and Franklin townships and into Carroll County.
The natural gas liquids (NGLs) will be processed in two West Virginia plants. One is in place in Marshall County and another will be built, according to Sara Delgado, senior communications specialist for Williams.
The line will transport NGLs such as propane, butane, ethane and natural gasoline from western Pennsylvania and West Virginia through 15 Ohio counties, including Mahoning, Columbiana and Carroll in northeast Ohio.
Delgado said a pumping station is planned in Ohio at a point close to where it will merge with another 20-inch line coming out of the West Virginia panhandle.
The pipeline is initially expected to transport 200,000 barrels a day and upwards of 400,000 barrels a day after 2015.
The NLGs will eventually be sold to the chemical manufacturing industry where the products are used in home heating and cooking, motor fuels, plastics production and industrial energy.
The project was broken down into information stations with Bluegrass Pipeline representatives at each one answering questions for guests and providing literature.
The steps in the process, including right of ways, easements, compensation to landowners, advance construction notices, right of way use, and post construction restoration were all covered.
The company also has a grant program to benefit local communities within the counties traversed by the pipeline projects with grants up to $25,000 per year awarded based on community need.
The money can be used for first responders, emergency and safety preparedness, youth and senior services, education programs, economic development, enhancement of open spaces and park land for recreation, enrichment of wildlife habitat, promotion of environmental education and preservation of wetlands and wildlife habitat.
Andrews said the industry, including the midstream segment the Bluegrass Pipeline is a part of, “is just in a real renaissance … it’s a remarkable time.”
He added that “had we not had the technology … we wouldn’t be here …”
For more information and a map of the proposed route visit bluegrasspipeline .com/the-bluegrass-project/maps/.