Rockies Express Pipeline

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Rockies Express Pipeline
Location
Country United States
General direction west-east
From Meeker, Colorado
Passes through Wyoming, Nebraska, Kansas, Missouri, Illinois, Indiana
To Clarington, Ohio
General information
Type natural gas
Partners Kinder Morgan Energy Partners, Phillips 66, Sempra Energy
Operator Rockies Express Pipeline, LLC
Commissioned 2009
Technical information
Length 1,679 mi (2,702 km)
Maximum discharge 16.5 billion cubic meter per year

The Rockies Express Pipeline is a 1,679-mile (2,702 km) long high-speed natural gas pipeline system from the Rocky Mountains, Colorado to eastern Ohio. The pipeline system consists of three sections running through eight states.[1][2] It is the largest natural gas pipeline built in the United States in more than 20 years, and one of the largest natural gas pipelines ever built in North America.[3][4][5]

Technical description[edit]

The diameter of 1,679-mile (2,702 km) long pipeline system varies between 36 and 42 inches (910 and 1,070 mm). The capacity of the pipeline is 16.5 billion cubic meter (bcm) of natural gas per year.[6] The whole pipeline costs around US$5 billion.[1][7][8] The final section of the pipeline was completed on 12 November 2009.[9]

REX — Entrega[edit]

REX — Entrega is the 328-mile (528 km) long former Entrega Pipeline between the Meeker Hub in Rio Blanco County, Colorado, and the Cheyenne Hub in Weld County, Colorado. Construction of this pipeline was authorized in August 2005.[6] The pipeline project was acquired by Rockies Express Pipeline, LLC in February 2006. The 136 miles (219 km) long segment from the Meeker Hub to the Wamsutter Hub in Sweetwater County, Wyoming, is of 36 inches (910 mm) pipeline, which is in service since February 2006. The 192-mile (309 km) long segment from the Wamsutter Hub to the Cheyenne Hub in Weld County, Colorado, is of 42 inches (1,070 mm) pipeline, which is in service since February 2007.[10]

REX — West[edit]

REX — West is a 713-mile (1,147 km) long 42 inches (1,070 mm) pipeline from Weld County, Colorado, to Audrain County, Missouri.[10] It has a 5-mile (8.0 km) long 24 inches (610 mm) branch connecting pipeline with the Williams Energy owned Echo Springs Processing Plant.

On 31 May 2006, the Rockies Express Pipeline filed an application to construct and operate this section. The construction approval was issued by the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) on 20 April 2007.[11] The first 503-mile (810 km) long segment of this pipeline was commissioned on 27 December 2007, and the second 214-mile (344 km) long segment was commissioned on 16 May 2008. It is in full service since 16 May 2008.[6][12]

REX — East[edit]

REX — East is a 638-mile (1,027 km) long 42 inches (1,070 mm) pipeline from Audrain County, Missouri, to Clarington in Monroe County, Ohio.[10] The Rockies Express Pipeline filed an application to construct and operate this section on 30 April 2007 and the FERC issued approval on 30 May 2008.[6][13]

Further interconnections[edit]

Several expansion projects have been proposed to transport gas further to northeast. The 375 miles (604 km) long Northeast Express project would run from Clarington and Lebanon, Ohio, to Princeton, New Jersey.[14] Other extension project foresees connection of the Rockies Express Pipeline with the Spectra Energy owned Texas Eastern Transmission pipeline. Spectra Energy made a contract with ConocoPhillips, according to which it will expand the Texas Eastern Transmission pipeline by 4 bcm per year to transport Rocky Mountains gas further to Pennsylvania.[15] This expansion, known as TIME III Project, is expected to be commissioned by November 2010.[16] Another Spectra Energy’s project, known as Northern Bridge, will increase the capacity of a pipeline from Clarington, Ohio, to Oakford, Pennsylvania, up to 5 bcm per year by late 2009.[17] El Paso Corporation and Equitable Resources plan to build an 471 miles (758 km) long expansion, known as the Northeast Passage Project, from Clarington to Pleasant Valley, New York.[18] Williams Companies is planning the 471 miles (758 km) long Rockies Connector Pipeline, which would connect the Rockies Express Pipeline in Clarington with its owned Transcontinental Pipeline in York County, Pennsylvania.[19]

Partnership[edit]

The pipeline is operated by Rockies Express Pipeline, LLC, a partnership between Tallgrass Energy Partners, Phillips 66 and Sempra Energy.[20] In February 2006, Kinder Morgan Energy Partners and Sempra Energy acquired Entrega Gas Pipeline Inc., from EnCana Corporation.[7] In June 2006, ConocoPhillips acquired 24% of the project.[21] ConocoPhillips spun off the downstream part of its business in May 2012.

Environmental concerns[edit]

The pipeline project has raised some environmental concerns. Ohio officials have asked to avoid crossing the Big Darby Creek in Pickaway County and the Little Miami River in Warren County within Caesar Creek State Park because of the risk of harming fish and other wildlife posed by drilling the pipeline beneath the rivers.[2]

A Lawsuit by American Energy Corporation was filed against REX over the disruption of coal mine owned by AEC beneath REX. In light of past pipeline accidents, where subsiding abandoned mines have caused pipelines to fail, the wisdom of the location of that part of the REX pipeline is of concern to pipeline industry critics.

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b Mary Tallon (2008-07-25). "Ill. County Board Unanimously Okays Pipeline Resolution". Downstream Today. Retrieved 2008-07-28. 
  2. ^ a b Mary Beth Lane (2008-07-06). "Rockies Express East Must Avoid Creek, Park - Ohio Officials". Downstream Today. Retrieved 2008-07-28. 
  3. ^ "Kinder Morgan Energy Partners and Sempra Pipelines & Storage begin open season for Rockies Express Pipeline projects" (PDF). Kinder Morgan Energy Partners. 2005-11-09. Retrieved 2008-07-28. [dead link]
  4. ^ "Rockies Express Gets OK to Proceed with Entrega Portion of Project". Rigzone. 2006-08-08. Retrieved 2008-07-28. 
  5. ^ "Dominion sets open season for Rocky Mountain natgas". Reuters. 2007-11-16. Retrieved 2008-07-28. 
  6. ^ a b c d "FERC Authorizes REX-East". Downstream Today. 2008-06-02. Retrieved 2008-07-28. 
  7. ^ a b Chris Lusvardi (2008-07-21). "Rockies Express Construction Hits Union Snag". Downstream Today. Retrieved 2008-07-28. 
  8. ^ Ann Davis (2009-10-03). "Huge Pipeline Delivers Bonanza to Towns on Route". Wall Street Journal. Retrieved 2009-10-03. 
  9. ^ Christopher E. Smith (2009-11-13). "Final leg of Rockies Express line enters service". Oil & Gas Journal (requires subscription) (PennWell Corporation). Retrieved 2009-11-14. 
  10. ^ a b c "Segment of Rockies Express natgas line begins service". Reuters. 2007-02-14. Retrieved 2008-07-28. 
  11. ^ "FERC Gives Nod to Rockies Express Pipeline". Downstream Today. 2007-05-20. Retrieved 2008-07-28. 
  12. ^ "Rockies Express begins US section service". Upstream Online (NHST Media Group). 2008-05-19. Retrieved 2008-07-28. 
  13. ^ Doggett, Tom (2008-05-30). "FERC oks pipeline to move Rocky Mountain natgas". Reuters. Retrieved 2008-07-28. 
  14. ^ "Rockies Express gas line sees Northeast US interest". Reuters. 2007-12-12. Retrieved 2008-07-28. 
  15. ^ Cassandra Sweet   (2008-05-23). "Rockies Natural Gas Speeds Toward Eastern Markets". Downstream Today. Retrieved 2008-07-28. 
  16. ^ "Texas Eastern designs pipeline plan". Upstream Online (NHST Media Group). 2008-05-20. Retrieved 2008-07-28. 
  17. ^ "Northern Bridge". Spectra Energy. Retrieved 2008-07-28. [dead link]
  18. ^ Michael Erman (2007-12-10). "El Paso, Equitable plan pipeline project". Downstream Today. Retrieved 2008-07-28. 
  19. ^ "Williams Kicks Off Open Season for Rockies Connector". Downstream Today. 2007-09-26. Retrieved 2008-07-28. 
  20. ^ Cassandra Sweet   (2008-06-16). "Sempra To Acquire Stake In Williams-TransCanada Gas Pipeline". Downstream Today. Retrieved 2008-07-28. 
  21. ^ "ConocoPhillips Completes Rockies Express Acquisition". Rigzone. 2006-06-30. Retrieved 2008-07-28. 

External links[edit]