The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission on July 29 issued a final environmental impact statement (EIS) for the Rover Pipeline Project, Panhandle Backhaul Project and Trunkline Backhaul Project, which were proposed by Rover Pipeline LLC, Panhandle Eastern Pipe Line Co. LP and Trunkline Gas Co. LLC, respectively.
Rover, Panhandle, and Trunkline in February 2015 each requested authorization to construct and operate certain interstate natural gas pipeline facilities in Michigan, Ohio, Pennsylvania, West Virginia, Indiana, Illinois, Tennessee, and Mississippi to deliver up to 3.25 billion cubic feet per day (Bcf/d) of natural gas supply from the Marcellus and Utica Shale producers in Pennsylvania, West Virginia, and Ohio through interconnections with existing pipeline infrastructure in Ohio and Michigan to supply interstate natural gas pipelines and storage facilities as well as markets in the Gulf Coast, Midwest, and Canadian regions.
Said the final EIS: “The FERC staff concludes that approval of the Projects would have some adverse and significant environmental impacts; however, these impacts would be reduced to acceptable levels with the implementation of Rover’s, Panhandle’s, and Trunkline’s proposed mitigation and the additional measures recommended by staff in the final EIS.”
The final EIS addresses the potential environmental effects of the construction and operation of the following project facilities in Michigan, Ohio, Pennsylvania, West Virginia, Indiana, Illinois, Tennessee, and Mississippi:
- 510.3 miles of new 24- to 42-inch-diameter natural gas pipeline and appurtenant facilities that include 10 new compressor stations, 21 new meter stations, 6 new tie-ins, 78 mainline valves, and 11 pig launcher and receiver facilities;
- modifications by Panhandle at four existing compressor stations, one interconnection, and three valve sites; and
- modifications by Trunkline at four existing compressor stations and one meter station.
Rover’s proposal (the Rover Pipeline Project) would involve construction and operation of new 24-, 30-, 36-, and 42-inch-diameter natural gas pipeline in 510.3 miles of right-of-way and associated equipment and facilities in Pennsylvania, West Virginia, Ohio, and Michigan.
Panhandle’s proposal (the Panhandle Backhaul Project) would involve modification of piping at four existing compressor stations as well as modifications at three valve site locations. All proposed modifications would be to existing infrastructure to allow for bidirectional flow of natural gas through the Panhandle system as well as to establish the Panhandle-Rover Interconnect near Defiance, Ohio. The Panhandle Project would not involve construction of new pipeline or other associated facilities.
Trunkline’s proposal (the Trunkline Backhaul Project) would involve modifications of existing piping at the Johnsonville, Joppa, Dyersburg, and Independence Compressor Stations to allow for bi-directional flow of natural gas. The Trunkline Project would also include modifications of the existing Panhandle-Trunkline Interconnect through installation of valves and fittings and modification of piping within the Panhandle-Trunkline Tuscola Compressor Station, as well as construction and modifications at the existing Bourbon Meter Station.
According to Rover, the Rover Project was developed in response to stranded domestic natural gas supply from the Marcellus and Utica Shale producers in Pennsylvania, West Virginia, and Ohio to the Defiance Compressor Station and interconnection with Vector Pipeline LP, and transporting it to interconnections with the existing pipeline infrastructure in Ohio and Michigan supplying interstate natural gas pipelines and storage facilities as well as markets in the Gulf Coast, Midwest, and Canadian regions.
Panhandle stated that the purpose of its project is to construct and operate the system modifications that will allow Panhandle to meet the new demand for east-to-west transportation and still maintain its existing obligations for west-to-east contracts.
Trunkline stated that the purpose of its project is to modify and update existing facilities to provide bi-directional transmission of natural gas from the Midwest to the Gulf Coast region.
Dependent upon commission approval, Rover, Panhandle, and Trunkline said they would seek approval to begin construction of their projects as soon as possible upon receiving all necessary federal authorizations.
In June 2014, Rover executed binding precedent agreements for the entire proposed 3.25 Bcf/d of additional firm transportation capacity. However, in January 2015, Rover reached an agreement with Vector that resulted in 100 miles of the originally proposed project in Michigan no longer being needed. As a result, Rover currently has 0.15 Bcf/d of capacity still available that Rover anticipates would be subscribed at a later date.