MORGANTOWN, W.Va. — Four major energy companies have announced a major project to construct a new gas pipeline that will run from Harrison County 550 miles through Virginia and to North Carolina. The $4.5 billion to $5 billion Atlantic Coast Pipeline project is a joint effort between Dominion, Duke Energy, Piedmont Natural Gas and AGL Resources.
The pipeline will deliver natural gas collected from Marcellus shale well sites in West Virginia to growing markets for additional customers in Virginia and North Carolina. It will provide a direct route for access to production in the Marcellus shale and Utica shale basins in West Virginia, Pennsylvania and Ohio.
“It is absolutely the biggest project I have ever worked on in my career,” Managing Director for Appalachia for Dominion Energy’s Bob Orndorff said Tuesday.
The $5 billion is just the investment for the pipeline and estimates at least another $1 billion investment on the back end to get the gas to market according to Orndorff.
The exact route for the pipeline is still being mapped out. Orndorff said survey crews are examining the proposed route through Lewis, Upshur and Randolph counties, adjusting the route based on topography and other environmental factors.
“We’ve got an idea where the route will go,” Orndorff said.
Gov. Earl Ray Tomblin said West Virginia is proud to continue its legacy as an energy-producing state.
“For many years, we’ve worked hard to make the most of the Marcellus and Utica Shale developments in West Virginia,” Gov. Tomblin said in a statement. “We continue to be optimistic about the existing and future opportunities this industry brings to the Mountain State, and today’s announcement by Dominion has the potential to create good-paying jobs for our hard-working men and women.”
House of Delegates Speaker Tim Miley said the project is another aggressive step forward in West Virginia’s continually expanding economy.
“The growing Marcellus Shale industry is rapidly becoming an important factor in West Virginia’s economic future, and this pipeline, which carries such great promise, is fantastic news – a great opportunity to continue drilling for gas and transporting it around the country,” Miley said in a news release. “This expanded distribution network will have a positive impact on the natural gas industry, from the largest gas producers to the small royalty owners, but more importantly, bring revenue to West Virginia taxpayers.”
If all the permits are approved on schedule, Orndorff said construction of the pipeline would begin in 2016 and the goal is to have it operational by 2018.