The company intends to immediately ask the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission to begin service, CEO Kelcy Warren told analysts and the media in an earnings call Wednesday.
Phase 1 runs from Cadiz in eastern Ohio to Defiance in northwest Ohio and connecting pipelines. That section is “substantially complete,” he said. Phase 1B from Seneca to Cadiz in eastern Ohio could be done within 40 days, Warren said.
A horizontal bore must be drilled to carry the pipeline under Captina Creek in Ohio’s Belmont County and that requires approval from FERC because horizontal direction drilling problems the company has encountered in Ohio, he said.
Once that work is done, ETP will again immediately seek FERC approval for full operations, Warren revealed.
Phase 2 from Defiance north into Michigan and Ontario will not be fully constructed until late November or early December, and the company expects full commercial operations to begin in January, Warren said.
The Rover Pipeline’s horizontal directional drilling problems have come to the attention of FERC and the Ohio Environmental Protection Agency.
Problems have been reported in seven spots in Ohio. Some drilling muds were found to be contaminated with toxic diesel fuel. A wetland was damaged, two quarries were contaminated and drinking water supplies were threatened, Ohio said.
The 711-mile pipeline will carry natural gas from the Marcellus and Utica shales to the Midwest, Canada and the Gulf Coast. The $4.2 billion pipeline includes two, 42-inch lines that would move up to 3.25 billion cubic feet per day.