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Project Would Tie Marcellus/Utica Condensate to Canadian Markets

Capacity to move growing production of condensate and natural gasoline out of the Marcellus/Utica Shale region to diluent markets in Canada is being offered by Unity Pipeline Co. LLC, which is proposing a system of new pipeline, as well as pipeline to be converted from natural gas service.

Diluent is used to dilute heavy oil, such as that from oilsands plays, for transport. Unity is holding a nonbinding open season through Dec. 20 and plans to follow that up with a binding open season next year. The company is a joint venture among Harvest Pipeline Co.; Somerset Gas Transmission Co. LLC; and Crossroads Pipeline Co., part of NiSource's Columbia Pipeline Group.

The 380-mile Unity Pipeline would consist of a new 12-inch diameter pipeline from Kensington, OH, to connect to Somerset's existing North Coast Pipeline originating at Mantua, OH. The pipeline would further connect to the Crossroads Pipeline at Cygnet, OH, and ultimately would terminate in Griffith, IN, at an interconnection with Explorer Pipeline. The North Coast and Crossroads pipeline systems, which currently transport natural gas flowing west to east, would be reversed and converted from natural gas transportation service to diluent transportation.

In addition to the diluent mainline, a new gathering system would also be constructed to gather diluent products from the Marcellus and Utica regions. This system would deliver light condensate and natural gasoline to an interconnection with Unity Pipeline in Kensington, OH.

Condensate production is growing in Appalachia. Last month, Range Resources Corp., which mainly targets the Marcellus, Utica and Upper Devonian shales, said that during the third quarter its oil and condensate production from the Marcellus increased by 43% from a year ago (see Shale Daily,Oct. 30).

This summer, Ohio Oil Gathering, a unit of Crosstex Energy LP, reactivated its Black Run rail terminal in Ohio. The terminal moves light oil condensate out of the region to refinery and petrochemical markets. The terminal is on the Ohio Central Railroad and facilitates the export of Utica Shale light oil condensate.

"The Unity Project will provide the rapidly growing Canadian market with the most cost-effective access to light condensate and natural gasoline from both the Marcellus and Utica Shale Plays," said Harvest President Steve Jacobs. "This open season is in response to the significant interest expressed by producers in the U.S. and Canada.

Information on Unity is available at www.unitypipeline.com.

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