CLEVELAND (AP) — Three companies have announced plans for a major pipeline to link emerging shale gas fields in eastern Ohio to energy companies and customers in the Midwest and beyond.
The 250-mile pipeline would originate in northeastern Ohio, follow existing utility corridors across the state and hook up with an existing line in Michigan. Two major pipeline corporations and a large energy company announced the joint plans Tuesday.
The 30- to 36-inch diameter pipeline would be capable of carrying 1 billion cubic feet of natural gas per day, according to Houston-based Spectra Energy, one of the three companies involved. The others are Enbridge Inc. of Canada and Detroit-based DTE Energy.
The Nexus Gas Transmission System, which will cost $1.3 billion to $1.5 billion, could be in service by November 2015, connecting eastern Ohio shale gas fields to customers in Ohio and Michigan, and potentially other states in the Midwest, and to Ontario, Canada, according to the companies.
The project would have to be approved by the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, which would also approve the customer rates.
Ohio's burgeoning gas drilling industry is tied to hydraulic fracturing, which involves blasting millions of gallons of chemically laced water into the earth to fracture shale formations and release oil, natural gas and natural gas liquids such as propane.
Natural gas drillers in Ohio are active in the eastern part of the state, going after deposits in the underground Utica Shale. The state passed a law last year that opened its parks and other state-owned lands for drilling, and officials have been developing leasing terms for drilling companies.
Opponents say they're concerned about the environmental impact of the drilling.