Oil and gas pipelines across the country are being expanded to handle increased production from shale plays, but those in the eastern part of the country are seeing the most changes — changes driven by growing importance of the Marcellus and Utica shale plays, according to investment firm Moody’s.
Work being done includes building new pipelines from scratch, expanding existing pipelines and even reversals of lines that once took natural gas from the Gulf Coast to Pennsylvania and beyond.
“The Marcellus is at the epicenter of the change in gas flows across North America,” stated Moody’s in a report released last week. The firm’s data shows that, of the advanced projects nationally meant to increase pipeline capacity by 20 percent by 2017–2018, 88 percent are in the East.
Mihoko Manabe, senior vice president at Moody’s and the report’s author, said those pipelines are transporting Marcellus and Utica gas to a variety of regions.
“The industry wants options,” Ms. Manabe said. “They want to be able to send it to Canada and the Northeast — we all saw the impact of the polar vortex — as well as to the Southeast’s growing power generation market, to hubs around Chicago and to LNG export terminals on the Gulf Coast.” LNG refers to liquefied natural gas.