Bluescape Resources Co. LLC (BRC) is under way with the construction of a 52-mile natural gas pipeline in West Virginia, a structure that the company hopes will one day connect future production from its wells in the Marcellus Shale with the marketplace.

Tom Grace, executive vice president and for Dallas-based BRC, told NGI’s Shale Daily that the 20-inch diameter gathering line would originate in Nicholas County. The company has started drilling natural gas test wells there. “There are really no pipelines in that area down where we are drilling,” Grace said. “We’re still at the early stages and are very early in this process.”

Grace said construction of the $100 million pipeline began early in 2011 and would run from Richwood, WV, to Frametown, WV, which is in Braxton County. He said the BRC pipeline would interconnect with NiSource Inc.’s Columbia WB Pipeline at Frametown.

“Hopefully the construction will continue to go smoothly,” Grace said, adding that BRC needed approval from the Army Corps of Engineers for the pipeline because it will cross two navigable waterways, the Gauley and Elk rivers. “Everything has continued to go our way, not the least of which has been receiving the necessary regulatory and community support. We are continuing to progress and move forward with the pipeline’s construction.”

Grace said the Elk River crossing has been completed. He said the pipeline could be completed by the end of 2012 but would more than likely take 18 to 24 months to complete.

BRC, a private independent oil and gas company with operations targeting the Marcellus and Eagle Ford shales, has a 490,000-net acre position in West Virginia, most of which is either owned fee simple or is leased for 15 years or longer. According to the state Department of Environmental Protection Office of Oil and Gas, BRC appears to have permits to drill 12 horizontal wells targeting the Marcellus Shale in West Virginia through its subsidiary, BRC Operating Company LLC. Six of BRC’s wells are in Nicholas County on property owned by paper manufacturer MeadWestvaco Corp., while another six wells are in Greenbrier County on property owned by Plum Creek Timberlands LP.