Pipeline firm plans $1.75B gas lines in Northeast

HOUSTON – A Houston company is planning to spend $1.75 billion on two new pipelines to carry Northeastern U.S. shale gas to nearby states and to systems that go to Gulf Coast and Midwestern markets.

Columbia Pipeline Group, the Houston-based infrastructure arm of Indiana gas distributor NiSource, said it wants to move stranded gas from the Marcellus and Utica shale plays to eager markets in Pennsylvania, West Virginia and Ohio, as well as to its pipelines that transport gas across the country.

It’s the latest billion-dollar pipeline plan to emerge in a field of new infrastructure crops that aim to rework U.S. pipeline systems to bring supply from gas plays in the Northeast to other parts of the nation.

The firm said it expects to build up to 160 miles of pipe in two separate lines capable of pushing a combined 2.5 billion cubic feet of gas per day from the shale plays to their destinations in Ohio and West Virginia, where its Gulf and Midwestern lines begin.

The infrastructure investments, said Glen Kettering, CEO of the firm, “will increase the capacity and flexibility of the Columbia Transmission and Columbia Gulf systems to further enhance transportation options for producers in Appalachia,” such as Range Resources, Noble Energy and American Energy Partners.

The firm said it expects to finish building the projects in fall 2016, and that they could start up services in the second half of 2017.