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Citing market demand, Rover Pipeline files to increase capacity to 3.425 Bcf/d

One of the biggest pipelines out of the Appalachian shales is hoping to move even more natural gas.

Rover Pipeline LLC asked the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission for authorization to increase the certificated natural gas transportation capacity on its up-to-3.25-Bcf/d mainline, a conduit between the Marcellus and Utica shales and markets and pipeline connections in the Midwest and Canada.

Increasing the capacity to 3.425 Bcf/d "will respond to proven market demand for additional capacity from the Marcellus and Utica shale supply areas," Rover said in its application. "It will provide additional capacity for pipeline quality natural gas to access markets without delay due to construction of new pipelines or processing facilities."

Rover asked for a Natural Gas Act certificate for the 175 MMcf/d increase in an abbreviated application. The company said it would not have to build or modify pipeline facilities, and there would be no cost to Rover, no impact to its customers, and little impact on communities along the pipeline. If FERC authorizes the increase, Rover would post the additional capacity on its webpage and charge shippers for service under existing rates, the company said.

The pipeline company, majority-owned by Energy Transfer LP, said the increase was supported by analysis of pipeline operating flow and pressure, which showed that the pipeline performed with higher efficiency and lower pipe roughness than originally assumed. (FERC docket CP20-36)

Rover put the last components of its roughly $4.2 billion, over 500-mile original pipeline project into service after receiving FERC authorization to do so in November 2018. (FERC docket CP15-93)

In November 2019, Rover asked FERC to allow it to build a new receipt point on a West Virginia lateral that would give shale gas production access to the mainline. (FERC docket CP20-10)

On Dec. 9, 2019, an Ohio appeals court upheld a lower court decision that found the state had waived its right to enforce violations of water quality standards against Rover after contractors spilled drilling fluids during construction of the original project.