Shale gas boom pushing pipeline growth, report shows
By Timothy Puko
Published: Wednesday, March 27, 2013, 12:01 a.m.
More than half of the country's newest gas transmission pipelines are in the Northeast, where more are coming online to ship Marcellus shale gas to market, federal data released this week show.
Pipeline companies spent $1.1 billion on three transmission lines running through Western Pennsylvania — projects from Dominion Resources Inc., EQT Corp. and Spectra Energy Corp., according to the federal Energy Information Administration.
That is more than half of the nearly $2 billion spent nationally in 2012, when spending fell to average levels after a four-year spike.
Pipelines are getting fatter, too. The industry added about 200 miles of transmission pipe in the Northeast, about its 10-year average. But the capacity of the pipe was the second highest for any year since 1997.
Gas companies can ship an additional 3.2 billion cubic feet per day through the region, about two-thirds of the capacity added nationwide, the administration wrote Monday in its daily energy update.
“Natural gas production in the Marcellus shale formation continues to drive Northeast regional pipeline expansions,” the update stated. The numbers do not include gathering lines, another type of pipe expected to increase because drillers need to connect many wells to the grid.
The rapid pipeline expansion with the region's shale gas boom has drawn criticism. Though it brought billions of dollars of investment, it raised questions about its potential impact on safety, the environment and local economies.
Federal analysts don't anticipate the pipeline boom to tail off soon. More than 7 billion cubic feet of capacity, at least a 16-year high, will come online in the Northeast this year, according to industry announcements the administration tracks.
Spending will stay between $1 billion and $2 billion annually through 2015, and a peak of 400 miles of transmission pipe will be added in 2015.
Timothy Puko is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. He can be reached at 412-320-7991 or email@example.com.
Show commenting policy
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.
- Harsh winter sets back Western Pa. maple harvest
- Minorities crucial to filling Marcellus shale gas drilling jobs
- Diaper makers do due diligence
- Real estate goes techno
- CVS suit could be test case
- ‘Boomerang’ buyers get another chance at homeownership
- Prepaid cards start to elbow aside bank accounts
- JPMorgan whistle-blower gets $64M for mortgage fraud tips
- Lab develops sponges for oil spill cleanup
- Demand grows for digital deal suppliers
- Samsung introduces free streaming radio service