UTOPIA Ethane Pipeline Faces Virtually No Opposition in OH

This is not a story you often hear these days: A natural gas liquids (NGL) pipeline slated to be built in Ohio is facing virtually no opposition. Last month we updated you on Kinder Morgan’s UTOPIA (Utica To Ontario Pipeline Access) ethane pipeline (see Kinder Morgan Ready to Move Forward with UTOPIA East Pipeline). The 12-inch ethane pipeline will run 240 miles and will only be built in Ohio–therefore the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) won’t be involved in permitting the project. The pipeline will connect to another pipeline (in Ohio) and that pipeline will carry ethane all the way to Ontario to a cracker plant. Perhaps lack of FERC involvement is the secret to limited opposition? Who knows! Construction won’t begin on the project until 2017 and UTOPIA won’t be online until early 2018. But before that can happen, Kinder Morgan has to secure easements from approximately 900 landowners in Ohio. A full one-third of the deals are ALREADY DONE. Some 98% of landowners granted permission for Kinder Morgan to survey their property. Seems to us like a textbook case of how to build a pipeline! Now if Kinder could only duplicate that success with their Northeast Energy Direct pipeline running through New England (sigh). Here’s an update on UTOPIA’s rapid progress…

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