As previously reported, a new $1 billion pipeline for Marcellus and Utica Shale gas is in the works from Inergy, UGI and Capitol Energy Ventures (see this MDN story). The 200-mile “Commonwealth Line” would run from the MARC 1 Hub Line in Lycoming County, PA due south, connecting to Philadelphia, Baltimore and Washington, DC.
Here’s a bit more information about the project which is moving forward full speed ahead:
Inergy Midstream, UGI Energy and Capitol Energy Ventures are partnering to build a new 200-mile natural gas pipeline from Lycoming County, PA all the way to Rockville, MD (see this MDN story). Called the Commonwealth Pipeline, the new $1 billion pipeline will connect with several major interstate pipelines along its route.
Yesterday, Inergy et al reported that their non-binding open season to sign up customers to use the pipeline went better than expected. From the Inergy press release:
A federal appeals court has cleared the way for the construction of the MARC 1 Marcellus Shale pipeline to be built in northeastern Pennsylvania. The court released a decision yesterday rejecting claims by “environmental” groups to stop the pipeline. Part of their argument revolved around “the broader impacts” caused by natural gas drilling—that is, pipelines make more drilling likely and that’s not a good thing (according to them). The court rejected that argument.
Three companies are joining forces to spend $1 billion to build a new Marcellus natural gas pipeline that runs from northern Pennsylvania to Maryland. Most major pipelines head in the other direction, trying to tap into northeastern markets like New York and Boston. But Inergy, UGI and WGL, the three partners, have a different take. They want to send gas in the other direction—to the Mid-Atlantic region—and along the way service markets including Philadelphia, Baltimore and Washington, D.C.
Dubbed the Commonwealth Pipeline, this new 200 mile, 30-inch pipeline will start in Lycoming County, PA where Inergy is currently building a gathering pipeline to connect Marcellus wells in Bradford and Sullivan counties, and from there go south through central and eastern PA, eventually connecting to WGL’s gas distribution system near Rockville, MD. The new pipeline will connect with other major pipelines along its route allowing gas to move bi-directionally.
From the Inergy press release:
Pipelines are a necessary part of drilling for and transporting shale gas. But they can also be one of the most contentious parts—especially when the government confers the power of eminent domain to a pipeline company who then can force landowners to accept the pipeline, weakening their bargaining position. A recent example is the MARC 1 in northeast Pennsylvania, a key piece of infrastructure for the Marcellus Shale. The MARC 1 is a high-pressure 30 inch steel pipeline that will connect to major interstate pipelines and to a gas storage facility in southern New York state.
The federal Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is throwing its considerable weight against building a new shale gas pipeline that would cross three counties in northeastern Pennsylvania.
TheStreet.com reporter Debra Borchardt interviews John Sherman, CEO of Inergy, a company that, among other things, provides transportation and distribution of natural gas. They are the nation’s fourth largest propane distributor, and they “have their eye” on the Marcellus Shale, with plans for major investments in the Northeast to meet demand in the Marcellus region.
Sherman says that natural gas is clean burning and is a “transition fuel” for the United States. Watch the short segment from TheStreet.com to learn more about Inergy’s plans for the Marcellus Shale.