Rover Again Asks FERC for OK to Restart Tuscarawas Drilling

On Jan. 24, the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) sent a letter to Rover Pipeline stopping drilling at the Tuscarawas River site, which had only restarted in December (see FERC Stops Rover Drilling Near River After 200K Gal Mud Disappears). In a strongly worded letter dated Sunday, Jan. 28, Rover told FERC they are “frustrated by the inaccurate central premise underlying the letter received from” FERC shutting down drilling at that location (see Rover “Frustrated” with FERC Order to Stop Drilling at Tuscarawas). Some 99% of all construction work is now complete for Rover Pipeline. There’s only a little more to do to finish things up, including installation of a second Rover Pipeline (next to the first) underneath the Tuscarawas River. Rover has “lost” 200,000 gallons of drilling mud down the hole in drilling for the second pipe. However, the “lost” mud has not come back to the surface. Mud disappearing–and staying down the hole–when drilling for pipelines is not uncommon. Yet FERC will not lift the stop work order. On Friday, FERC sent a letter to Rover saying Rover must provide information on three different scenarios before work can resume: (1) how Rover plans to complete drilling at the current location without losing any more mud, (2) change locations and run the second pipe under another part of the Tuscarawas River, or (3) forget about drilling and installing a second pipe altogether, and stick with just a single pipe already in place now. FERC’s letter brought a swift response. On Sunday, Rover provided a mountain of evidence to say the current plan of drilling under the river at the existing location is the right plan. Rover went one step further, asking FERC to allow them to begin drilling again by yesterday (Monday) afternoon at 3pm. To the best of our knowledge, that did not happen…

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