Event focuses on Spectra gas line

HANOVERTON – An informational, invitation-only event was held this past week on a proposed natural gas pipeline that would transport dry gas from the region directly to market.

The event at the United Local High School was hosted by Spectra Energy, the company that intends to run a 70-mile transmission pipeline from the M3 Midstream gas collection/processing plant under construction just outside Hanoverton. The pipeline would run south to Monroe County near the Ohio River.

The event was for local property owners affected by the project, although other people who heard about the meeting also showed up.

The Houston-based Spectra announced in December 2011 its intention to build a gas transmission line from eastern Ohio to ship gas from Chesapeake Energy wells in the region to Spectra’s Texas Eastern Pipeline, which connects Texas to New York state.

The Ohio Pipeline Energy Network (OPEN), as the project is being called, would begin at the M3 Midstream natural gas collection/processing plant being built off Tunnel Hill Road in Hanover Township. The OPEN pipeline would run south through Franklin and Washington townships before entering Jefferson County on its way to Monroe County.

The M3 Midstream plant will extract natural gas liquids (NGLs) from the shale gas and transport NGLs to a storage and transfer hub being built in Harrison County. The remaining conventional “dry” natural gas can be shipped directly from the facility to market, which is what Spectra intends to do with its pipeline.

OPEN would deliver dry gas to Spectra’s Texas Eastern supply system, making it available for domestic markets from New England to the south. OPEN is expected to transport 550 million cubic feet of dry gas per day.

The meeting was for local officials and the 74 county property owners Spectra will need to obtain easements from for its 30-inch-wide pipeline. Spectra is expecting to begin approaching residents for easements later this year, with the project scheduled to be completed by November 2015.

The proposed OPEN route runs just east of Summitville and Salineville before entering Brush Creek Township in Jefferson County. The only compressor station planned along the 70-mile route is in southern Jefferson County.

Spectra representative Susan Waller said they held similar opens houses last week in other counties along the proposed OPEN route.

“It cost some to do this, but we feel if we’re going to be part of the community we want to do it right,” she said.

Waller noted they have historically been able to reach an easement agreement with property owners in almost every case and rarely resort to eminent domain. “Our goal is to reach a consensus with landowners,” she said.