Bluegrass eyes gas pipeline through Fairfield Township

FAIRFIELD TOWNSHIP- Township trustees approved an environmental study by Bluegrass Pipeline on a 15 acre “corner parcel” near Kelly Park and Fairfield School roads during the May 2 meeting.

The Houston-based company said the study would run from May 15 through August 15 and asked for permission to be out walking at night.

Last March, Williams and Boardwalk Pipeline LLC “agreed to develop a pipeline carrying natural gas liquids” from the Northeast shale plays in Ohio, Pennsylvania and West Virginia to Texas.

Bluegrass expects to initially transport 200,000 barrels a day and upwards of 400,000 barrels a day after 2015.

“We are in the preliminary stages of developing the pipeline route and securing permission to survey … which is part of determining that route,” Sara Delgado, senior communications specialist for Williams said.

The companies are not affiliated with the $300 million Hickory Bend project that will move through Mahoning County and three townships in Columbiana County including Unity, Fairfield and Salem.

Approximately $150 million in pipeline will be laid along the 55-mile long Hickory Bend system originating in western Pennsylvania and finishing up in Salem Township.

Pennant Midstream LLC owns and will operate the Hickory Bend system which is a partnership between NiSource and Hilcorp Energy and the project calls putting another $150 million into a cryogenic processing plant.

Groundbreaking for that Springfield Township plant is set for mid-June.

NiSource, which owns Columbia Gas,will be mostly responsible for infrastructure development while Hilcorp is the exploration and production side of the partnership.

Hilcorp owns oil and gas drilling rights to two wells in Mahoning County and one in Columbiana County, the Grubbs well on Grafton Road in Salem Township.

The Bluegrass Pipeline, through Williams and Boardwalk, is currently in the planning, design, cost estimating, economic and risk analysis, customer contracting, permitting and regulatory approval stages including acquiring right-of-ways.

It says that, assuming all necessary conditions are met, expectations are for the pipeline to be in service in the second half of 2015.

Alan Armstrong, president and chief executive officer of Williams, said in a March 6 press release that, “The current infrastructure challenge with natural gas liquids in the Northeast is slowing drilling and isolating liquids supplies from the robust markets in the Gulf that are poised to grow substantially over the next five years.

“Some of the gas is being produced in Pennsylvania but being brought to Ohio,” he said.

“Given current market dynamics in the Northeast, existing liquids systems and local outlets will be overwhelmed by 2016.

“Total NGL volumes in the Northeast are expected to exceed 1.2 million barrels per day by 2020.

“The proposed Bluegrass Pipeline joint venture would support Williams’ midstream assets in the region, offer an attractive return and enable Williams to become the premier NGL infrastructure provider by economically linking the Utica and Marcellus region to petrochemical complexes on the U.S. Gulf.”

To that end, Armstrong explained, “We are designing Bluegrass Pipeline to provide these two world-class resource plays with access to one of the largest and most dynamic petrochemical markets in the world.

“In turn, this will help producers in Ohio, Pennsylvania and West Virginia achieve an attractive value for their ethane and other liquids.”

According to the prepared release, Boardwalk Pipeline Partners, a subsidiary of the Loews Corporation, is a midstream master limited partnership that transports stores, gathers and processes natural gas and liquids.

Along with its subsidiaries it owns and operates approximately 14,410 miles of natural gas and liquids pipelines and underground storage caverns.

Williams is an energy infrastructure company that owns interests in or operates 15,000 miles of interstate gas pipelines, 1,000 miles of NGL transportation pipelines, and more than 10,000 miles of oil and gas gathering pipelines.

It has a processing capacity of 6.6 billion cubic feet of natural gas and NGL production of more than 200,000 barrels per day and owns approximately 70 percent of Williams Partners L.P. one of the largest diversified energy master limited partnerships.

Williams Partners, based in Tulsa, owns most of Williams’ interstate gas pipeline and domestic midstream assets.

For more information, visit, where the company routinely posts important information.

Larry Shields can be reached at