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Texas Eastern could have final say on Rover/Leach XPress project overlap

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Texas Eastern could have final say on Rover/Leach XPress project overlap

andColumbia Pipeline Group Inc.appear close to fixing their overlapping proposed pipeline routes in Ohio, butthey would have to share space with SpectraEnergy Partners LP's TexasEastern Transmission LP, which has still not signed off.

TexasEastern told FERC in a July 6 letter that filings by Rover Pipeline LLC andColumbia Gas Transmission LLCmight imply that Texas Eastern had reached an agreement with them on puttingthe proposed Rover and Leach XPress pipeline projects next to a Texas Easternline for about 13 miles in Monroe and Noble counties in Ohio, but nothing hasbeen agreed to yet.

TexasEastern also said it has not reached an agreement on the use of its right ofway for workspace and spoil storage during construction of whichever of theproposed pipelines comes first.

"TexasEastern is open to a mutually agreeable resolution regarding co-location,provided that Texas Eastern can be certain that the co-location will notadversely affect Texas Eastern's facilities, operations, or the services TexasEastern provides for its shippers," the pipeline told FERC.

In aJuly 8 letter filed in answer, Rover told the commission that placing aconstruction easement over a parallel permanent easement is common practice inthe pipeline and utility industries where space is tight. Rover observed thatTexas Eastern is looking over engineering records to make sure its operationswill not be affected by construction.

"Roverwill continue to cooperate and provide necessary documentation to Texas Easternand anticipates their approval of Rover's request for use of temporaryworkspace on their easements," Rover said.

Inlate June, FERC said it could not issue certificates for the Rover and Leach XPress projectsuntil their developers found a solution to the overlap.

InJuly 1 filings, Rover and Columbia Gas told FERC they had a tentative solution:They would place their pipelines within a shared 50-foot permanent right of wayand use the same workspace limits for most of the segment. They said there arefive areas where the pipelines would have to deviate from the ideal routes togo around things such as topography, property and sensitive habitat.

Anotherminor complication is that the proposed configuration would mean the pipelineclosest to the Texas Eastern system would have to be installed first, but atthis point it is not certain which proposed pipeline would be built first. Bothprojects must still receive FERC approval. (CP15-93, CP15-514)

Overlappingproposed projects are not common in the interstate gas pipeline industry, butthey do occur. FERC has dealt with the issue in the past. There have been atleast three cases, one involving PortlandNatural Gas Transmission System LP and ,which agreed to sharea section of pipeline to resolve their situation.