Columbia to build Marcellus-Utica gas pipeline

Columbia Gas Transmission (CGT), part of NiSource Inc.’s Columbia Pipeline Group, will build a 160-mile natural gas pipeline, Leach XPress, in Ohio and West Virginia, supporting gas supply development in western Pennsylvania, northern West Virginia, and eastern Ohio.

Long-term firm service agreements with Range Resources Appalachia LLC, Noble Energy Inc., Kaiser Marketing Appalachian LLC, and American Energy-Utica LLC (AEU), support the project.

CGT describes the 1.5-bcfd pipeline as providing access to multiple Marcellus and Utica receipt points and establishing a new header system serving the Appalachian supply basin. It will interconnect with NiSource’s Columbia Gulf Transmission pipeline in Leach, Ky. The same four shippers are also underpinning Columbia Gulf’s Rayne XPress project, which will boost the line’s capacity by 1 bcfd through additional compression.

AEU recently completed acquisition of 27,000 net acres in Monroe County, Ohio (OGJ Online, Aug. 5, 2014).

CGT has begun outreach to landowners and communities in areas where the projects will take place. The company expects construction of both projects to start fourth-quarter 2016, with a targeted in-service date of second-half 2017, pending regulatory approvals.

Leach XPress and Rayne XPress will cost a combined $1.75 billion.

Contact Christopher E. Smith at

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