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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Mountaineer XPress Pipeline Seeks Tax Break from WV Counties

Columbia Pipeline Group is trying to convince counties in West Virginia where its proposed Mountaineer XPress Pipeline will be built, to reduce the amount of property tax they will have to pay under WV state law. Mountaineer XPress Project (MXP) includes 165 miles of new pipeline from Marshall County, WV to Wayne County, WV with approximately 2.7 billion cubic feet per day (Bcf/d) of transportation capacity from existing and future points of receipt along or near CPG’s system (see Columbia Pipeline’s Mountaineer XPress Project Accepted by FERC). In addition to new pipeline, the $2 billion project also includes constructing three new compressor stations and upgrading three existing stations. Columbia is shopping the concept of a PILOT–a Payment In Lieu Of Taxes. Such a plan essentially means they will pay less money than a county would otherwise collect in regular property taxes on the pipeline. Here’s the strange thing–the counties and school districts affected would end up keeping more of the money collected from PILOT payments than they would from regular property tax payments. It’s actually a win/win–Columbia pays less and more of the money paid stays local. Go figure…
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