Who Wants to Transport Natural Gas Liquids Through Kentucky? Two Companies are Asking.
It’s open season for hunting Kentucky deer—and apparently for Kentucky pipelines as well.Right now, there are two proposed pipelines that would carry natural gas liquids through Kentucky. One of these is theBluegrass Pipeline, a joint venture between Williams and Boardwalk Partners. The proposal involves 500 miles of new construction through Kentucky and Ohio to carry hydrocarbons from natural gas drilling (materials like ethane, butane and propane) to processing plants on the Gulf of Mexico. Go here for previous WFPL coverage of the Bluegrass Pipeline.And there’s also the proposed conversion of the Tennessee Gas Pipeline by Kinder Morgan and MarkWest. The project involves taking an existing natural gas pipeline and converting it to carry natural gas liquids (NGLs). The Kentucky portion of the project stretches from Greenup through Morehead and Campbellsville to the Tennessee border.The work acquiring easements for the Bluegrass Pipeline has already begun; last month, Williams representatives said the company had purchased easements in nine of the 13 Kentucky counties along the pipeline's route. Because the second pipeline involves converting existing infrastructure, MarkWest/Kinder Morgan already has the easements. Of the two projects, the Bluegrass Pipeline has received far more attention in the state and drawn passionate opposition from groups concerned about unintended environmental effects.Now, both pipelines have recently announced the beginning of their open seasons. From now until Dec. 16 (for the Bluegrass Pipeline) and Dec. 20 (for the Tennessee Gas Pipeline), the two partnerships are soliciting binding commitments from companies that want to use the projects to transport natural gas liquids. A Kinder Morgan spokeswoman says the company won’t begin a project until it knows it has enough customers to make the pipeline worthwhile. So that’s what this open season is—a way to evaluate the demand for the projects.Previously, executives for MarkWest and Williams have expressed clashing views on whether there’s enough demand for two new NGL pipelines from the Northeast to the Gulf of Mexico.From a story I did in August on the proposals: