Rover Pipeline

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Rover Pipeline is an operating oil pipeline in Ohio and Michigan, USA, with laterals into Pennsylvania and West Virginia, USA, and Ontario, Canada.[1]

Location

The pipeline will run from Ohio, USA to Howell, Michigan, USA, with laterals into Pennsylvania and West Virginia, USA.[2]

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Project Details

Phase 1

  • Owner: Energy Transfer Equity[1]
  • Proposed capacity: 1,700 million cubic feet per day[3]
  • Length: 1,144.2 kilometers / 711 miles[3]
  • Diameter: 42-inches[3]
  • Cost: US$3 billion[3]
  • Status: Operating[3]
  • Start Year: 2017[3]

Phase 2

  • Owner: Energy Transfer Equity[1]
  • Proposed capacity: 1,550 million cubic feet per day[3]
  • Length: 0.0 new kilometers, capacity expansion only[3]
  • Diameter: 42-inches[3]
  • Cost: US$1.22 billion[3]
  • Status: Operating[3]
  • Start Year: 2018[3]

Background

The Rover Pipeline is a 713-mile pipeline which transports up to 3.25 billion cubic feet per day of domestically produced natural gas from the Marcellus and Utica Shale production areas to markets across the U.S. as well as into the Union Gas Dawn Storage Hub in Ontario, Canada, for redistribution back into the U.S. or into the Canadian market. Rover pipeline gathers gas from processing plants in West Virginia, Eastern Ohio and Western Pennsylvania as well as various dry gas-gathering systems for delivery to the Midwest Hub near Defiance, Ohio, where about 68 percent of the gas is delivered via interconnects with existing pipelines in Ohio and West Virginia for distribution to markets across the U.S. The remaining 32 percent of the natural gas is delivered to markets in Michigan through an interconnect in Livingston County, Michigan, with the existing Vector Pipeline.[4]

Opposition

Grassroots groups in Michigan and Ohio filed a complaint in May of 2017 asking the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission to halt construction of Energy Transfer's Rover Pipeline through the two states and reopen an environmental impact review because of recent environmental incidents. Michigan Residents Against the ET Rover Pipeline and Ohio-based non-profit FreshWater Accountability Project are asking FERC to revoke the certificate issued to the company in February that allowed it to start building the 42-inch natural gas pipeline, which is not yet in operation. Critics cited concerns over several environmental violations that have occurred in Ohio, including a spillage of about 2 million gallons of drilling fluid when the company was drilling under the Tuscarawas River near Navarre in Stark County, about 60 miles south of Cleveland. The state's Environmental Protection Agency fined the company $431,000 for the spill. One of several concerns outlined in the grassroots groups' complaint to FERC is that pipeline construction near waterways in Michigan could result in similar incidents. The complaint specifically mentions the risk pipeline construction could pose to a creek that flows into Portage Lake near Hell, Michigan, along the line between Livingston and Washtenaw counties. The creek is home to endangered species. The environmental impact statement FERC approved required the company to use turbine engines, however, critics say more recent documents show the company is planning to use "unapproved" reciprocating engines. [5]

Also in May of 2017, documents filed with the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) show that Energy Transfer Partners is in the midst of a dispute with the Ohio State Historic Preservation Office over a $1.5 million annual payment owed to the state agency as part of a five-year agreement signed in February. Energy Transfer Partners was set to pay the preservation office in exchange for bulldozing the Stoneman House, a historic home built in 1843 in Dennison, Ohio, whose razing occurred during construction of the Rover pipeline. The pipeline owner initially bulldozed the historic home, located near a compressor station, without notifying FERC, as the law requires. In May 2015, Energy Transfer Partners purchased the Stoneman House from the Ohio State Historic Preservation Office for $1.3 million and bulldozed it just two weeks later, according to FERC documents. The $1.5 million annual payment owed to the Ohio State Historic Preservation Office was in addition to the initial cost of purchasing the home. The annual payments were supposed to go toward history education programs administered by the office, as agreed upon by FERC, the Advisory Council on Historic Preservation, Energy Transfer Partners, and the Ohio State Historic Preservation Office.[6]

In July of 2017, a hundred protestors near Silver Lake, Michigan, marched in opposition to the pipeline. Critics of the pipeline argue there's a better alternative route further east within an existing ITC power line corridor which was considered by Rover but ultimately rejected. If the pipeline is going to pass close to homes and a summer camp for children, local activists argue the gas at least should be odorized so leaks can be detected before there's a major disaster. Some local residents and officials, including the county board, are hoping the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers will revoke the permit for the project.[7]

In August 2017 the pipeline was partially commissioned,[8] and FERC approved commissioning of the full pipeline in November 2018.[9]

Spills

Construction of the Rover pipeline began in March 2017. Within weeks, a pair of spills related to the project released more than 2 million gallons of drilling fluid into Ohio wetlands. That project became fully operational late in 2018.[10]

Energy Transfer Partners, the Texas-based pipeline operator that owns the controversial Dakota Access Pipeline, came coming under renewed scrutiny for two spills that released more than 2 million gallons of drilling fluid into Ohio wetlands in April of 2017. A violation notice made public this week indicates about 50,000 gallons of drilling fluid — a thick gel-like substance used to cut through rock during pipeline construction — was released near Richland County, Ohio. The spill was discovered April 14, according to the Ohio Environmental Protection Agency. An estimated 2 million gallons spilled in another incident discovered April 13 near the Tuscarawas River south of Navarre. Both spills were connected to the company’s construction of the Rover Pipeline, a $4.2 billion dollar project. An Ohio Environmental Protection Agency filing notes that the spills “impacted water quality.” Both spills contain bentonite, a mineral used to help cat litter clump when it gets wet and does not break down easily in water, making it difficult to remove large clumps from aquifers.[11]

Expansion Projects

Expansion Project 1

According to the U.S.'s Energy Information Administration (EIA), the expansion project will require no new construction or additional pipeline length. The project will add 175 million cubic feet per day with an expected start date sometime in 2020.[3]

Expansion Project Details

  • Owner: Energy Transfer Equity
  • Capacity: 175 million cubic feet per day[3]
  • Length: 0 new kilometers / miles[3]
  • Status: Proposed[3]
  • Start Year: 2020[3]

Wick Meter Station Expansion Project

According to the U.S.'s Energy Information Administration (EIA), the expansion project will increase takeaway capacity out of the Marcellus Formation and add a new interconnection with the Equitrans gas pipeline system, both within West Virginia.[3]

Wick Meter Station Expansion Project Details

  • Operator: Rover Pipeline[3]
  • Owner: Energy Transfer Equity
  • Capacity: 300 million cubic feet per day[3]
  • Length: 0 new kilometers / miles[3]
  • Cost: US$5 million[3]
  • Status: Proposed[3]
  • Start Year: 2020[3]

Articles and resources

References

Related GEM.wiki articles

External resources

External articles