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Rover Supply Laterals, Compressors Ready For Service, Pipeline Tells FERC

Rover Pipeline LLC is ready to place three eastern Ohio supply laterals and associated compressor stations into service this month, the operator told FERC Friday.

In a filing posted to the project docket Monday, Rover asked the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission to authorize service on the 3.7-mile, 24-inch diameter Berne Lateral, the 25.6-mile, 42-inch Seneca Lateral and the 32.6-mile, 42-inch Clarington Lateral [CP15-93].

Rover is also seeking authorization to place the Clarington, Seneca and Cadiz compressor stations into service, as well as seven meter stations.

The facilities in Ohio’s Noble, Monroe and Harrison counties, could potentially increase takeaway capacity on the designed 3.25 Bcf/d mega project.

Rover began partial service, including east-to-west flows on its Mainline A from Cadiz, OH, to Defiance, OH, at the start of September. Prior to a recent drop in receipts at Cadiz Rover had been flowing just under 1 Bcf/d.

The current maximum operating capacity for deliveries into Defiance is 1.7 Bcf/d, according to information available through Rover's electronic bulletin board.

Rover asked FERC to issue an in-service authorization for the facilities by Dec. 14 "so that its shippers can make the requisite contractual and operational arrangements...Rover's shippers have urgently requested Rover to place these facilities in service to allow their stranded natural gas supplies to be transported to Midwest markets."

Rover submitted photo documentation of its construction progress to FERC and said it is "proceeding with restoration activities at the compressor stations workspaces with grading, reseeding and completion of fencing at the perimeter of the permanent station yard."

Construction at the meter stations is complete, with facilities now fenced and graveled, Rover said. For the laterals, "trenches are now filled and graded. In various locations, restoration is completed whereas the remaining areas will be maintained" using an approved construction plan, with reseeding planned for spring.

The 713-mile, 3.25 Bcf/d Rover is designed to deliver Marcellus and Utica shale volumes to markets in the Midwest, Gulf Coast and Canada. Backer Energy Transfer Partners LP has said it plans to complete the next phase of the project by the end of the year. The full designed capacity -- including service to an interconnect with the Vector Pipeline in Michigan and to the Dawn Hub in Ontario -- is scheduled to come online by the end of the first quarter.

Additional service on Rover would be welcome news for Northeast producers, who have been ramping up output in recent months. PointLogic Energy models show Northeast dry production averaging around 26.7 Bcf/d month-to-date, up sharply from 24.7 Bcf/d in October.

Meanwhile, last week FERC denied Rover's rehearing request appealing the Commission's decision not to issue a blanket authorization for routine construction activities on the project. FERC had denied the blanket authorization based on concerns that Rover had acquired and demolished an old Ohio house near one of its compressor stations to intentionally bypass federal historic preservation regulations.

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