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Dominion Energy makes another attempt to expand Marcellus gas transportation

Dominion Energy Transmission Inc. applied for federal authorization to install a 120,000-Dth/d natural gas transportation project that would provide an additional outlet for gas production in the Marcellus and Utica shale region in western Pennsylvania and Ohio near where another Dominion Energy Transmission project failed to get federal approval earlier in 2019.

"According to the United States Energy Information Administration, consumption of natural gas for electric power generation is forecasted to grow significantly in the coming years," Dominion Energy Transmission said in its request. "DETI's natural gas pipeline system is uniquely positioned to accommodate this increase in demand and to transport new gas production in [Ohio], as its pipelines traverse the areas of significant supply growth."

The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission gave notice of the request Dec. 17. On Dec. 10, the Dominion Energy Inc. pipeline company asked for the authorization for the Tri-West project in a request under a blanket certificate, part of an earlier project authorization under the Natural Gas Act. Blanket certificates allow pipeline companies to perform minor upgrades to their systems without requiring significant FERC review.

In June, Dominion Energy Transmission was forced to withdraw an application for another 120,000-Dth/d gas transportation project near the border of Ohio and Pennsylvania after waiting in vain for a final FERC decision on the project application, apparently due to differences on the environmental review between Republican and Democratic commissioners. The company told the commission that because of its inaction, the customer for the Sweden Valley pipeline expansion opted to terminate the requested transportation service.

The sole project customer for the new Tri-West project was not named in the application, but Dominion Energy Transmission said the project was a response to the customer's request to increase the amount of shale production that can get to the Midwest gas market. The primary delivery point would be a new interconnect between the pipeline systems of Dominion Energy Transmission and Tennessee Gas Pipeline Co. in Tuscarawas County, Ohio. The primary receipt points for the project customer would be in Butler County, Pa.

The project would include upgrades to Dominion Energy Transmission's Newark compressor station in Licking County, Ohio, a short lateral of less than two miles in Tuscarawas County, and a new metering and regulating station at the end of the lateral. The developer estimated the total cost for its construction of the project would be a little over $24 million. (FERC docket CP20-23)