Part of Leach XPress Pipe Up and Running Following Explosion

Leach XPress explosion location – click for larger version

Last Thursday MDN reported that TransCanada was working to restore partial service to the Leach XPress Pipeline (see TransCanada Working to Restore Partial Service on Leach XPress Pipe). Leach XPress only came online in January. The pipeline experienced an explosion and fire on June 7 (see Leach XPress Pipeline Explodes in Marshall County, WV). Most of the 1.5 billion cubic feet per day of Marcellus/Utica gas flowing through the pipeline was stopped. As of Friday, the Stagecoach-LXP meter, which ties into the Strike Force South gathering system station, was once again flowing, up to 190 million cubic feet per day. Which means Monroe and Belmont counties (OH) are now reconnected and flowing. As for the rest of the pipeline and its various metering stations, it’s all still shut down with no word on when it will be repaired and back online. There’s still no word on what caused the explosion in the first place…
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TransCanada Working to Restore Partial Service on Leach XPress Pipe

We told you last week that Columbia Gas Transmission’s Leach XPress Pipeline, which only came online in January, experienced an explosion and fire in Marshall County, WV (see Leach XPress Pipeline Explodes in Marshall County, WV). Most of the 1.5 billion cubic feet per day of Marcellus/Utica gas flowing through the pipeline is now stopped, which has caused shippers (drillers) to find alternatives, including Energy Transfer’s Rover, Tallgrass’ Rockies Express (REX), EQT’s Equitrans, and Enbridge’s Texas Eastern Transmission (Tetco) pipelines to flow gas out of the region (see Other Pipelines Pick Up Slack for Exploded Leach XPress). Although a fix for the exploded portion of Leach XPress is likely months away, TransCanada, the owner of Columbia and the Leach pipeline, is working on a plan to quickly restore part of the pipeline to service in southeastern Ohio–which would reconnect Monroe and Belmont counties to the pipeline…
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Other Pipelines Pick Up Slack for Exploded Leach XPress

Leach XPress fire

As we told you last week, Columbia Gas Transmission’s Leach XPress Pipeline, which only came online in January, experienced an explosion and fire in Marshall County, WV last Thursday (see Leach Xpress Pipeline Explodes in Marshall County, WV). It’s early days yet, but so far, no word on what may have caused the explosion and resulting fire. The problem is that most (if not all) of the 1.5 billion cubic feet per day of Marcellus/Utica gas flowing through the pipeline is now stopped. What do shippers do? They find alternatives. And so they have. A Reuters article reports that shippers have cut deals with Energy Transfer’s Rover, Tallgrass’ Rockies Express (REX), EQT’s Equitrans, and Enbridge’s Texas Eastern Transmission (Tetco) pipelines to flow their gas out of the region. Below is the article highlighting the alternate routes shippers are using, along a second article speculating (in the absence of any hard facts) about what may have caused the explosion…
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Columbia Sues WV Landowners for Delaying Mountaineer XPress Work

It’s one thing for a landowner (or Big Green supporter, sometimes one and the same) to oppose a pipeline project by protesting, asking politicians to get involved, writing to regulatory agencies, etc. We have a great American tradition of free speech. Go for it. But it’s quite another thing to “harass, intimidate and interfere” with work crews in an area by screaming at them and shooting your “large caliber gun” near where they’re working. Columbia Gas Transmission is currently building the Mountaineer XPress Pipeline, a $2 billion, 170-mile pipeline that will flow 2.7 billion cubic feet (Bcf) per day of natural gas from existing and future points of receipt along or near the Columbia pipeline system–most of it located in West Virginia (see Details on Columbia Pipeline Mountaineer XPress Pipeline Project). At 2.7 Bcf/d, Mountaineer XPress is the second largest (by volume) new pipeline project for the Marcellus/Utica region–second only to Rover’s 3.25 Bcf/d pipeline. It is a big and important project. And yet, a single couple whose land the pipeline does NOT cross can delay the entire project with threats and intimidation and interference. That’s the charge Columbia has made in court. On April 30, Columbia sued a couple in Doddridge County who live near an active construction site for Mountaineer XPress, claiming their hostile actions toward workers have caused a delay for the entire project–and that’s costing Columbia big bucks. Columbia wants to ask a jury to extract some of that lost revenue from the hostile couple as compensation. Lesson: Your (hostile, threatening) actions have consequences, and may cost you money…
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Leach Xpress Pipeline Explodes in Marshall County, WV

Click image for larger version

This is not the kind of news we like to share–but it’s important. A newly installed pipeline–that went online in January–experienced an explosion and huge fireball, in Marshall County, WV. TransCanada’s Leach XPress project–some 160 miles of new natural gas pipeline and compression facilities in southeastern Ohio and West Virginia’s northern panhandle which flows 1.5 billion cubic feet (Bcf) of gas all the way to Leach, Kentucky (hence the name), went online January 1st (see Leach XPress Goes Online; FERC Approves Mountaineer & Gulf XPress). Leach XPress is part of the Columbia Gas Transmission system. From Leach, KY, the gas hitches a ride on TransCanada’s Rayne XPress pipeline to the South and Gulf Coast. A portion of Leach XPress, this brand new, “best-in-class” pipeline (so said TransCanada’s CEO in January), exploded and caught fire at 4:15 am yesterday in Moundsville (Marshall County), WV, sending flames hundreds of feet into the air. Fortunately no one was injured. Some nearby residents fled their homes. Most of the pipeline is now shut down, curtailing 1.3 Bcf/d (out of the 1.5 Bcf/d) of gas volumes “indefinitely.” Here’s what we know (and don’t know) about the accident…
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Columbia Asks FERC to Approve OH/WV Buckeye XPress Pipe Project

Buckeye XPress Pipeline map – click for larger version

In January 2017, TransCanada’s Columbia Pipeline subsidiary launched an open season for the Buckeye XPress (BXP) pipeline project (see Columbia Pipeline Launches Open Season for New M-U Project). BXP will expand service along the Columbia Gas Transmission pipeline from Ohio (and PA and WV) to send even more Marcellus/Utica gas to the Gulf via the interconnection at Leach, Kentucky. Columbia launched a non-binding open season to gauge interest in the project, which will use looping and beefed up compressor stations to increase capacity another 700 million cubic feet (MMcf) per day along the existing pipeline Columbia pipeline system. The open season (time when shippers express interest and sign contracts) was a success. But these things take time. On March 26, a year and two full months after the open season, Columbia filed an application with the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) seeking permission to build the project. The project includes building 66 miles of new pipeline to replace old pipeline in Ohio’s Vinton, Jackson, Gallia and Lawrence counties, as well as pipeline replacement in West Virginia’s Wayne County. Below is the lowdown on the BXP application…
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Maryland Approves NatGas Pipeline Under Potomac River

Anti-fossil fuel nutters have been on a holy mission to stop a 3.5-mile, 8-inch pipeline from being built under the Potomac River by Columbia Gas (see Maryland Antis Oppose 13th Pipeline Under Potomac as “Dangerous”). The pipeline will be built to feed a larger pipeline project being built by Mountaineer Gas called the Eastern Panhandle Expansion–a pipeline to deliver natural gas via local distribution channels to a new industrial facility in Berkeley County, WV, and to provide gas to other local businesses and residents in the Tri-State area. Last week MDN reported that Mountaineer has just begun work on their project (see Mountaineer Gas Begins Work on Morgan County, WV Pipeline). We commented that Maryland, under RINO Gov. Larry Hogan, had not (yet) caved to radical antis and their pressure to block the Columbia project–which would be the 13th pipeline Columbia has built under the Potomac River (see Maryland Antis Oppose 13th Pipeline Under Potomac as “Dangerous”). Good news. On Friday Maryland (surprisingly) granted the necessary permits for the Columbia project…
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Maryland Antis Oppose 13th Pipeline Under Potomac as “Dangerous”

Anti fossil fuel nutters have been on a holy mission to stop a 3.5-mile, 8″ pipeline from being installed under the Potomac River since last summer (see Mountaineer Pipeline Under Potomac Latest Focus of Anti Movement). To hear them talk, you’d think this is the first time a pipeline has been drilled under the Potomac River–that drilling and installing a pipeline under the Potomac will result in an environmental holocaust. However, TransCanada, via its Columbia Pipeline subsidiary, has already built and operates 12 other pipelines that go under the Potomac River–just in the State of Maryland! Yet the president of the Washington County (MD) Board of County Commissioners, Terry Baker, says “the dangers are high” and “real” if this, the 13th pipeline, gets installed. Why, Mr. Baker, are the dangers “high” and “real” now–but they weren’t high and real the 12 other times a pipeline was installed under the river?…
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Mountaineer Xpress Pipe Breaks Ground in WV on $100M Compressor

Earlier this week TransCanada (i.e. Columbia Pipeline) broke ground for a new $100 million compressor station that will flow gas through the Mountaineer XPress Pipeline. MDN previously told you that at the end of December the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) issued a final approval for Mountaineer (see Leach XPress Goes Online; FERC Approves Mountaineer & Gulf XPress). The $2 billion Mountaineer XPress will build ~170 miles of new pipeline to flow 2.7 billion cubic feet (Bcf) per day of natural gas from existing and future points of receipt along or near the Columbia pipeline system–most of it located in West Virginia (see Details on Columbia Pipeline Mountaineer XPress Pipeline Project). At 2.7 Bcf/d, Mountaineer XPress is the second largest (by volume) new pipeline project for the Marcellus/Utica region–second only to Rover’s 3.25 Bcf/d pipeline. It is a big and important project. On Tuesday, even though the temps were frigid and the snow was flying, Calhoun County commissioners along with reps from TransCanada broke ground on an important new compressor station being built to flow gas through Mountaineer XPress. Calhoun has not seen any shale drilling, although neighboring Ritchie County (to the north) and Gilmer County (to the east) have. Mountaineer XPress and this compressor station are helping Calhoun participate economically in the shale miracle, which Calhoun’s commissioners expressed thanks for…
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Leach XPress Goes Online; FERC Approves Mountaineer & Gulf XPress

In mid-December MDN told you that the Leach XPress project–some ~160 miles of new natural gas pipeline and compression facilities in southeastern Ohio and West Virginia’s northern panhandle which will flow 1.5 billion cubic feet (Bcf) of gas all the way to Leach, Kentucky (hence the name)–would go online January 1st (see Leach XPress Starting Up Jan 1 – Marc/Utica Gas Heading to the Gulf!). And indeed it did! TransCanada, the owner of the project, announced Leach XPress is now online and flowing Marcellus/Utica gas to Kentucky. And from Kentucky, the gas flows south–some it all the way to the Gulf Coast via the Rayne pipeline. TransCanada also announced that the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) has just issued final approvals for two more Columbia Pipeline-related projects: Mountaineer XPress and Gulf Xpress. Both projects will carry significant volumes of Marcellus/Utica gas to new markets. Mountaineer XPress will build 170 miles of new pipeline to flow 2.7 billion cubic feet (Bcf) per day of natural gas from existing and future points of receipt along or near the Columbia pipeline system–most of it located in West Virginia (see Details on Columbia Pipeline Mountaineer XPress Pipeline Project). At 2.7 Bcf/d, Mountaineer XPress is the second largest (by volume) new pipeline project for the Marcellus/Utica region–second only to Rover’s 3.25 Bcf/d pipeline. Gulf XPress consists of building seven new midpoint compressor stations along the existing Columbia pipeline system in Kentucky, Tennessee and Mississippi, with the aim of moving an additional 875 million cubic feet (MMcf) of Marcellus/Utica gas per day southward, to the Gulf Coast region. Here’s the details, along with a copy of the FERC approval, for these two important projects…
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Leach XPress Starting Up Jan 1 – Marc/Utica Gas Heading to the Gulf!

Last week Columbia Pipeline Group (now part of TransCanada) filed a request with the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) to begin service on their Leach XPress pipeline. This is BIG and important news. In August 2014, MDN told you that Columbia Pipeline Group decided to move forward with investing $1.75 billion dollars for two new projects: Leach XPress and Rayne XPress (see Columbia Gas: $1.75B for 2 Projects to Send Marcellus Gas to Gulf). The Leach XPress project involves building ~160 miles of natural gas pipeline and compression facilities in southeastern Ohio and West Virginia’s northern panhandle, flowing 1.5 billion cubic feet (Bcf) of gas all the way to Leach, Kentucky (hence the name). Rayne XPress works hand in glove with Leach. There is an existing natgas pipeline from Leach, KY all the way to the Louisiana Gulf Coast, called Rayne. The pipeline is named for the location it flows to: Rayne, Louisiana. The Rayne Xpress project beefs up the Rayne pipeline with new compressor stations to add an additional 1 Bcf per day of capacity–Marcellus and Utica Shale gas capacity that will flow to the Gulf Coast. Rayne went online in early November (see FERC Clears 1 Bcf/d Rayne Xpress Pipe to Begin Service). When Leach goes online Jan. 1, 2018 (yes, we expect FERC will approve it), Marcellus/Utica gas will begin flowing along the combined pipelines all the way to the Gulf. That’s big news!…
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TransCanada Says FERC Approval for Mountaineer XPress May Slip

In July 2017, the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) issued a favorable final environmental impact statement (EIS) for both the Mountaineer XPress and Gulf XPress projects (see FERC Issues Favorable Final EIS for Mountaineer/Gulf XPress Pipes). Both projects are part of Columbia Pipeline Group (now owned by TransCanada), expansions of the Columbia Pipeline system. A favorable EIS means it’s a foregone conclusion that FERC will issue a certificate for the project to proceed–at some point. Mountaineer XPress includes 165 miles of new pipeline with approximately 2.7 billion cubic feet (Bcf) per day of transportation capacity from existing and future points of receipt along or near the Columbia pipeline system–most of it located in West Virginia. Gulf XPress consists of constructing seven new midpoint compressor stations along the existing Columbia pipeline system in Kentucky, Tennessee and Mississippi, with the aim of moving an additional 875 million cubic feet (MMcf) of Marcellus/Utica gas per day southward, to the Gulf Coast region. So far FERC has not given these two important Marcellus/Utica projects the final go-ahead. During TransCanada’s annual investor day webcast yesterday, Stan Chapman, president of TransCanada’s US natural gas pipelines business told investors (and the public) that although they had hoped for FERC approval by the end of this year, it’s now likely the approval will “slip into January”…
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FERC Approves WB Xpress Pipeline Across WV, VA

The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) on Friday granted final approval for Columbia’s WB Xpress pipeline project. In Jan. 2016, Columbia Pipeline Group (now owned by TransCanada) filed a full, official application with FERC for the $850 million WB XPress Project (see Columbia Pipeline Files to Build $850M WB XPress Project in WV/VA). WB XPress consists of two new compressor stations, 26 miles of pipeline replacement located along existing corridors (11.6 miles of it in Monongahela National Forest), and 2.9 miles of new pipeline in Virginia and West Virginia. The WB XPress Project will expand capacity of the Columbia Gas Transmission pipeline system in the region by 1.3 billion cubic feet per day (Bcf/d), linking Marcellus gas supplies to new markets. FERC issued a favorable environmental assessment for the project in March of this year (see FERC Gives Columbia WB XPress Enviro Thumbs Up). In September, the U.S. Forest Service gave their blessing (see WB XPress Pipeline Gets Important USDA Approval for Natl Forest). And now the fat lady has sung: FERC has issued a final approval for the project, meaning the next step is for construction to begin…
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TransCanada 3Q17: Plethora of Pipeline Updates for Marcellus/Utica

TransCanada Corporation, headquartered in Calgary, Alberta, released their third quarter 2017 update yesterday. On July 1, 2016, TransCanada completed its buyout of Columbia Pipeline, a $10 billion deal (see TransCanada and Columbia Pipeline Tie the Knot Today). Columbia had/has a plethora of pipeline projects in the northeast, projects very important to the future of our region and flowing gas through it and out of it. We recently told you that one of those projects, Rayne XPress, was cleared to begin service and is now up and running (see FERC Clears 1 Bcf/d Rayne Xpress Pipe to Begin Service). We also told you that another project that works hand-in-glove with Rayne, called Leach XPress, is also supposed to be online this month. However, it’s been delayed. We learned from yesterday’s 3Q17 update that the new plan is to have Leach online in “early January 2018.” In addition to updates on Rayne and Leach from the 3Q17 update, we have news about Gibraltar Midstream, WB XPress, Mountaineer XPress, Gulf XPress and several other projects that impact our region…
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FERC Clears 1 Bcf/d Rayne Xpress Pipe to Begin Service

In January of this year, the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) voted to approve and issue a certificate to Columbia Pipeine’s Leach XPress and Rayne XPress pipeline projects (see FERC Approves $1.8B Leach & Rayne XPress Pipeline Projects). The two projects work together to move Marcellus/Utica gas all the way to the Gulf Coast. The Leach XPress project involves construction of approximately 160 miles of natural gas pipeline and compression facilities in southeastern Ohio and West Virginia’s northern panhandle, flowing 1.5 billion cubic feet (Bcf) of gas all the way to Leach, Kentucky (hence the name). Rayne XPress works hand in glove with Leach. There is an existing natgas pipeline from Leach, KY all the way to the Louisiana Gulf Coast. That pipeline is called the Rayne, for Rayne, LA. The Rayne Xpress project beefs up the Rayne pipeline with new compressor stations to add an additional 1 Bcf per day of capacity–Marcellus and Utica Shale gas capacity that will flow to the Gulf Coast. Both projects are scheduled to go online this month. Leach XPress isn’t ready yet, but Rayne XPress is. Yesterday FERC granted Columbia Pipeline (now owned by TransCanada) permission to begin flowing gas along Rayne–Marcellus/Utica gas–all the way to the Gulf Coast…
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Explosion at Columbia Pipeline Meter Station in NE OH Kills Worker

Stark County, OH

In a tragic accident, one worker was killed and another injured while working at a Columbia Gas Transmission pipeline metering station in Stark County, OH on Monday. Media reports say Wesley J. Johnson, 60, of Wooster, OH was standing near the pipe when the end cap came off the pipe and the pressure of the gas in the line exploded outward (not igniting), throwing Johnson backward into a fence. He died instantly from massive trauma to his chest. The pipe valve has been sent to a crime lab to determine what happened. Residents living in the area around the metering station were evacuated for 45 minutes, until the all-clear was given for them to return. Nearby residents reported hearing an explosion and said the sound of the gas coming out of the pipeline was loud–like a jet engine. It’s always a sad day when we have to report of a fatality in the industry…
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