Rover (Again) Asks FERC for Permission to Finish Horizontal Drilling

Yesterday Energy Transfer Partners, the builder of the Rover Pipeline, once again asked the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) if they could pretty-please-with-a-cherry-on-top resume horizontal directional drilling (HDD) in a couple of key locations in Ohio, so they can finish phase one of the pipeline somewhere close to on-time. Rover is a $3.7 billion, 711-mile Marcellus/Utica natural gas pipeline that will run from PA, WV and eastern OH through OH into Michigan and eventually into Canada. It is a critical piece of sorely needed infrastructure for the Marcellus/Utica industry. As soon as ET received approval for the project in February, they began building it. But they hit a few snags along the way, including an “inadvertent return” (i.e. leak) of 2 million gallons of drilling mud in a swamp next to the Tuscarawas River (Stark County, OH). Following that leak and other leaks, FERC told Rover to stop any new underground drilling not already under way (see FERC Slaps Rover Pipeline with Stop Drilling Order). A few weeks later ET asked FERC if they could begin drilling again in a few key locations (see Rover Gets Serious About Mud Spills, Asks FERC for OK to Drill). But so far, nyet. Yesterday ET asked again, “respectfully,” to restart HDD drilling…

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