PARKERSBURG, W.Va.-(WTAP) Update: 1/3/2018 3:55 P.M.
A planned 165-mile pipeline crossing part of Ritchie, Wirt and Doddridge counties has received approval from the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission.
A 165-mile pipeline through Central West Virginia could be in place by the end of 2018.
The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission this past summer approved the environmental impact statement for the Mountaineer XPress pipeline.
"We received our environmental impact statement from the FERC in July," Scott Castleman, spokesman for Columbia Gas Transmission and its parent company, TransCanada, said Thursday. "They confirmed that we're able to do this and mitigate any impacts to the environment."
The pipeline is to cross several area counties, passing through southern Wirt and Ritchie Counties, while crossing directly through Doddridge County.
TransCanada, the company behind the project, says it sought an environmentally acceptable way to deliver more of the gas coming from wells drilled throughout the Marcellus and Utica Shale regions.
"Projects like Mountaineer XPress allow the gas to flow along a lot more routes and a lot more capacity," Castleman says. "So this project is very important to meet the needs of producers in getting the gas from where it is produced to where it is used."
An area-based promoter of shale development says the need for more pipelines has grown, as drilling has increased in the past decade.
"We've got this massive gas supply," says Greg Kozera, Marketing Director, Shale Crescent, USA. "But if I'm an industry, and I need to expand, I can't get the gas I need, it doesn't matter what is under my feet, it's what's in my plant."
Castleman says final federal approval for the project from the Federal Energy Commission, is expected in the next few weeks.