06 Feb Ohio Pipeline Energy Network to Expand
A group of major players in the energy industry announced plans to expand a major interstate pipeline in Ohio in order to accommodate the emerging shale gas supplies.
Texas Eastern Transmission LP (Tetco-a subsidiary of Spectra Energy Corp.), American Electric Power and Chesapeake Energy Marketing, Inc. intend to go forward with the Ohio Pipeline Energy Network (OPEN), a planned expansion of the current Tetco pipeline system connecting Marcellus and Utica gas supplies in Ohio to existing markets.
The OPEN project will bring together the largest producer and leaseholder in the Utica, a pipeline operator with 60+ years of experience in Ohio as well as access to a variety of markets, and the largest power generator in the region. It involves 70 miles of new pipelines adding 1 Bcf/d (1 billion cubic feet per day) of capacity to serve local distribution companies, industrial users and power generation. A binding open season will be held in the first quarter, with plans to bring the system into operation by November 2014.
Final plans have not been made regarding the route of the pipeline, but it is expected to start in Carroll County, Ohio and run south to the Tetco mainline. Initial expectations regarding cost are around $500 million, but could grow depending on interest.
The pipeline expansion comes underway as natural-gas fired power generation is one of the fastest growing demands. Natural gas is 45 percent cleaner than coal and 30 percent cleaner than fuel oil, recently facilities have had to switch to cleaner burning natural gas or be constructed to run on it.