Rover Pipeline gets approval for HDD drilling at four sites

The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission has given Rover Pipeline LLC approval to conduct horizontal directional drilling (HDD) under streams and highways at four more locations along the route of the 711-mile natural gas pipeline across northern Ohio.

The action came after Texas-based Energy Transfer Partners (ETP), the company developing the $4.2 billion pipeline, adopted specific recommendations on HDD from the J.D. Hair & Associates consulting firm, Kallanish Energy reports.

The approved HDD sites were Interstate 77, Honey Creek, the Ohio River at Majorsville and a Norfolk Southern Railroad crossing. The company said HDD is under way or completed at 23 sites along the pipeline route.

FERC had allowed the company to continue HDD drilling started last May when leaks occurred at drilling sites and the HDD work was then halted.

The company lists about 50 locations where HDD is needed, mostly in Ohio and Michigan. FERC noted HDD is still not allowed at the Tuscarawas and Sandusky rivers in Ohio.

About 213 miles of the pipeline, from Cadiz in eastern Ohio to Defiance in northwest Ohio and along two laterals, were put into service on Aug. 31.

Constructing the 125-mile pipeline from Defiance north into Michigan and east into Ontario is continuing. That project is expected to be in service by the end of the first quarter of 2018, ETP said.

The twin pipeline will carry natural gas from the Marcellus and Utica shales to the Midwest, Canada and the Gulf Coast. It will move up to 3.25 billion cubic feet per day from Ohio, West Virginia and Pennsylvania.

ETP has been sued by the state of Ohio over environmental issues including a dozen HDD leaks.