Mountaineer Plans Pipe Expansions in WV Panhandle “Every Year”

Eastern Panhandle Expansion – click for larger version

In 2017, Mountaineer Gas launched its Eastern Panhandle Expansion pipeline project–a project 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. Mountaineer’s pipeline expansion will be fed by a 3.5-mile Columbia Gas pipeline due to run under the Potomac–which is being fought vigorously by anti fossil-fuelers. There are three phases to the Eastern Panhandle Expansion project: Phase One runs a 22.5-mile, 10-inch-diameter steel pipeline from Morgan County to Martinsburg; Phase Two includes a loop to Charles Town (Jefferson County); and Phase Three will build a four mile segment of pipeline into Martinsburg. The West Virginia Dept. of Environmental Protection approved the Eastern Panhandle Expansion in February (see WV DEP Issues Permit for Mountaineer Gas Pipeline in Eastern WV), and work on Phase One began in March (see Mountaineer Gas Begins Work on Morgan County, WV Pipeline). According to an article just published, work on Phase One was initially delayed because of heavy rainfall in April/May (but is now going well), and Phase Two is planned to begin in the first or second quarter of 2019. The interesting thing (for us) is a comment from Mountaineer VP Thomas Westfall, who said this: “Over the next 20 years, we will have a lot of additional interest [in gas service in the Tri-State area], and we will be proposing expansion projects in this area every year.” Meaning Phases One, Two, and Three are only the beginning, which is sure to drive the antis bonkers…
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Jefferson County, WV Hopes Hing on Gas Pipe Under Potomac River

Jefferson County, WV has been working for the last 30 years to get natural gas piped into the community. Jefferson is on the cusp of seeing that long-time dream turn into reality–if anti fossil-fuelers in Maryland don’t screw it all up. In April, MDN brought you the news that Columbia Pipeline (now owned by TransCanada) has filed an application with the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) to build a 3.5 mile, 8-inch pipeline that will carry natural gas from Pennsylvania to connect the Mountaineer Gas system in the Eastern Panhandle of West Virginia with the Columbia Gas Pipeline in Pennsylvania (see New 3.5 Mile Pipeline Project to Drill Under the Potomac River). The purpose of the Eastern Panhandle Expansion project is to deliver natural gas via local distribution channels (local utility Mountaineer Gas) to a new industrial facility in Berkeley County, WV, scheduled to open this fall, and to provide gas to other local businesses and residents in the Tri-State area. Most of the proposed pipeline crosses through a tiny sliver of Washington County, Maryland. The main “issue” with the project is that the pipeline will be drilled underneath the Potomac River, which serves as the border between WV and MD. That has radical anti-fossil fuelers in an uproar (see Mountaineer Pipeline Under Potomac Latest Focus of Anti Movement). Here’s a look at the faces of those whose lives will be changed for the good by a short, 3.5 mile pipeline under the Potomac, IF…
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Mountaineer Gas Files App to Build $45M Pipeline Expansion in WV

Mountaineer GasWest Virginia’s largest natural gas LDC (local distribution company) is Mountaineer Gas–with 220,000 customers, 450 employees and servicing 49 of WV’s 55 counties. Mountaineer Gas maintains close to 6,000 miles of pipeline. They’d like to add another 56 miles of pipelines to that number. Mountaineer has filed an application with the WV Public Service Commission to build a $45 million expansion of their distribution network in Berkeley, Jefferson and Morgan counties (the eastern panhandle of WV). Why? To deliver more Marcellus Shale gas to industrial customers who want to build manufacturing plants in the region. There is some natural gas in the area now–but not nearly enough. The new lines, which are not high pressure transmission lines but low pressure distribution lines, would bump up the volume of gas and deliver it to locations where new plants want to build. Local economic development people are excited as this provides a foundation for long-term growth in the region. Below are the details of Mountaineer’s application, along with a copy of the official paperwork they’ve filed with the WV PSC…
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