Debbie Wachter New Castle News
NEW CASTLE — A few years ago, talk about Marcellus and Utica shales was about drilling and fracking. While drilling for natural gas is now prevalent locally and well pads are dotting the county’s horizon, focus is shifting to the digging for construction of pipelines to transport the gas from the drilling sites to areas throughout the middle and eastern United States.
Four major pipelines in the works will pass through Lawrence County.
The Hickory Bend Gathering System involves construction of 20- and 24-inch gathering pipelines extending about 55 miles through northeast Ohio and western Pennsylvania. Hickory Bend is a project of NiSource Midstream Services, which is building a cryogenic gas processing plant in New Middletown, Ohio, in partnership with Harvest Pipeline Co., which is the midstream subsidiary of Hilcorp Energy. That project will have two different pipelines coming through the area, according to Sara Barczyk, manager of community relations for NiSource.
A third is the Sunoco Allegheny Access pipeline, originating in Mogadore, Ohio, and going south to Vanport in Beaver County, crossing through a section of Little Beaver Township, according to information from the Lawrence County Conservation District office.
The fourth pipeline is part of the Bluegrass Pipeline project by Williams and Boardwalk Pipeline Partners. Locally, it will originates near Grove City in Mercer County and extend southwest through Lawrence County into Ohio and ultimately to Kentucky. Sara Delgado, communications specialist with Williams Pipeline, said that project is just in the developmental stages and the companies are in the process of getting rights-of-way from landowners and doing environmental studies. Completion is expected in 2015.