A liquid extracted from shale in eastern Ohio and western Pennsylvania soon will flow through the Akron area en route to Canada for processing.Pennsylvania-based Sunoco Logistics Partners LP is preparing to begin pipeline shipments next month of ethane, a liquid found with natural gas in the Utica and Marcellus shales.The ethane will be transported 350 miles from Houston, Pa., to Sarnia, Ontario, via the Mariner West Pipeline, which will be able to handle up to 50,000 barrels per day.
From Pennsylvania, the pipeline will pass under Portage, Summit and Medina counties, eventually traveling west to Fostoria in western Ohio. The line then turns north to Toledo and eastern Michigan. A new, 37-mile section of pipeline was built from MarkWest Energy Partners’ processing complex in Houston, Pa., to an existing Sunoco Logistics pipeline at Vanport, Pa. But the bulk of the Mariner West Pipeline was built earlier.
In the Akron area, the pipeline crosses southern Portage County, runs from Mogadore to Hudson, then heads west through Summit and Medina counties. It measures 8 inches in diameter from the Canadian border to Hudson and 10 inches from Hudson to Vanport, Pa.
The project required the conversion, expansion and partial reversal of existing pipeline and received approval from the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission. At the same time, Sunoco Logistics is working on a second pipeline, called Allegheny Access, that also will traverse the Akron area, sharing some of the Mariner West route as it carries refined petroleum from Fostoria east to Pittsburgh.Allegheny Access will run along a different path from Fostoria to Akron, passing under northern Wayne and southern Summit counties en route to Mogadore. Once there, the pipeline will share the same right-of-way with the west-flowing ethane pipeline across southern Portage County en route to Vanport, Pa.
Construction of the Allegheny Access pipeline is scheduled to begin in October. It could be in service by June. The pipeline, from 10 to 12 inches in diameter at various points, will move up to 85,000 barrels of petroleum a day from Midwest refineries to the Pittsburgh area, where motorists find some of the highest gasoline prices in the United States. The pipeline will be get minor rerouting in a few areas. That includes a new 4.3-mile route around Mogadore Reservoir in Portage County. Sunoco Pipeline LP, operating on behalf of Inland Corp., which largely is owned by Sunoco Logistics, is seeking wetland permits for the Allegheny Access pipeline from the Ohio Environmental Protection Agency and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers.
Three permits are being sought: one for the 82-mile section from Tiffin to Easton, near Doylestown in Wayne County, another for the 57 miles from Mogadore to the Pennsylvania state line and a third for isolated wetlands. The project would impact 36 acres of wetlands and 11,000 feet of streams in Ohio. The lines will be buried to a depth of 3 feet. Sunoco Logistics has allocated $600 million for the Mariner West pipeline and the Mariner East pipeline from Vanport, Pa., to the Philadelphia area. Sunoco Pipeline LP is a subsidiary of Philadelphia-based Logistics Partners LP