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$4.3 billion Rover Pipeline approved


The Weirton Daily Times

WHEELING, W.Va. — The $4.3 billion Rover Pipeline system, portions of which will include 42-inch diameter conduit, will send Marcellus and Utica shale natural gas across Ohio because the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission approved the project.

The system — portions of which will run through Tyler, Marshall, Hancock, Monroe, Belmont, Jefferson and Harrison counties — will be able to ship up to 3.25 billion cubic feet of natural gas per day. For perspective, just 1 Bcf is enough natural gas to power 24,315 homes for an entire year, according to Cabot Oil & Gas.

The Rover, developed by Dallas-based Energy Transfer Partners, is one of several pipelines natural gas producers have hoped would see approval to help them get their material to larger markets. Officials representing both manufacturers and pipeline builders celebrated the FERC approval.

“Construction of the project will generate a windfall of demand for American-manufactured pipeline components. And once in operation, these same organizations will have reliable access to natural gas, affordably powering their operations,” Ryan Augsburger, lobbyist for the Ohio Manufacturers’ Association, said. “Manufacturing has long played a prominent role in Ohio’s economy, and we are confident that the Rover Pipeline will provide opportunities for the industry’s success well into the future.”

Original prognostications showed the pipeline would open last year, but there were delays related to the Migratory Bird Treaty Act and other environmental concerns. Developers believe they can get the entire system up and running before 2017 ends.

“We’re ready to get to work,” Geno Alessandrini, business manager of the Michigan Laborers’ District Council, said, while acknowledging some believe the Rover will support 10,000 construction jobs. “A lot of the work for construction will go to our members, who are highly skilled and uphold the highest safety standards on our work sites. We’re excited to get to work on the Rover Pipeline, and get the job done right.”

According to the map, the Rover’s route begins in Doddridge County, W.Va. It then heads northwest through Tyler County before reaching the Ohio River. It then crosses under the river and into Monroe County, where it eventually meets with another line in the Beallsville area. The line then heads east to the Clarington area.

The map shows a 42-inch pipeline running from the Clarington area, north through Belmont County. At this point, a 24-inch pipeline that travels westward and under the Ohio River from Marshall County will connect with the 42-inch line in the Jacobsburg area of Belmont County.

From there, the 42-inch line heads northwest through the St. Clairsville area and into Harrison County. It will then collect more natural gas from what the map shows as a 36-inch pipeline running westward from Washington County, Pa., as this line runs through Hancock and Jefferson counties.

The Rover route then heads northwest across Ohio and into Michigan.

“Rover understands its responsibilities under the Migratory Bird Treaty Act and implementing regulations and with Rover’s commitment to conducting tree clearing outside of the migratory bird breeding season it will abate any chance or direct take of protected species,” a document Rover developers filed with FERC Jan. 4 states.

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