What do Gas Pipelines Mean for West Virginia?

by Dee Fulton on October 20, 2011

Natural gas pipeline projects are in the works. There were two stories on Oct. 17th by Casey Junkins in the Wheeling based

Photo courtesy of Marcellus-Shale.us

newspaper, The Intelligencer. One story described plans for a new pipeline to carry raw natural gas from wellheads to processing plants in Marshall County. The other story dealt with the announcement of plans for a pipeline project that will serve to deliver ethane to Texas from West Virginia, Pennsylvania and Ohio.

The natural gas we burn is principally methane. Ethane and other hydrocarbons are also found in raw natural gas and must be separated from methane by a fractionation process. The western side of the Marcellus shale formation and the Utica shale formation are especially rich in “wet gas”, i.e. the gas from these shales has a higher percentage of the valuable weightier hydrocarbons such as ethane.

Junkins provides this regarding the raw gas pipeline: “About 250 miles of natural gas pipelines are planned for construction in northern West Virginia over the next six months, but some landowners are not ready to sign pipeline deals.” Another 60 miles is planned for southern West Virginia, bringing the total pipeline miles to 310. The project is anticipated to provide 3200 temporary jobs. Click here for this story.

Regarding the second story about the ethane pipeline, “A project designed to pump 90,000 barrels of Ohio Valley ethane to the Gulf Coast every day has been canceled.  But a new pipeline that would pump 125,000 barrels of ethane daily from West Virginia, Ohio and Pennsylvania to Mont Belvieu, Texas, is in the works.” Click here for that story.

So what does this mean for West Virginia? Clearly the construction projects will be massive and will create many jobs. Hopefully the jobs will go to West Virginians. Despite Chesapeake CEO Audrey McClendon’s assertion (in defense of hiring out-of-state workers) that a third of WV applicants fail the drug test, Wayne Rebich of the ACT Foundation disagrees. “Less than 3% of the union construction workers in West Virginia which are tested fail the drug test,” Rebich said.  The ACT Foundation is the lobbying and promotional arm of the state trade unions.

It is noted that the contract for the ethane pipeline construction has been awarded to Texas-based Enterprise Products Partners, LP.   The ACT Foundation asked our legislators for law to make it a priority for corporations engaging in construction projects in WV to hire West Virginians. “We didn’t get what we wanted,” Rebich said. A partial victory was achieved; companies which receive tax breaks or public subsidies must give priority to West Virginian hires.

What else does pipeline construction mean to West Virginia? I recommend that you visit www.Marcellus-Shale.us and take a peek at the (ugly) photos there of pipeline construction. The potential for noise, dust, sedimentation and erosion and the sequellae, destruction of stream water quality, are plain to see. There will be interruption of wildlife corridors.  There will be future risks of pipeline explosions.

Where exactly will the pipelines go?   Will they cross any public lands?  I believe that is an unknown until the rights are purchased to build the pipelines.

{ 4 comments… read them below or add one }

theradical March 11, 2012 at 12:57 pm

3200 jobs? Where do they get these numbers? Were there even that many people working on the Hoover Dam? It smells like gas co. BS to me.

Why isn’t this gas being taxed? Texas billionaires are coming in to West Virginia, literally pumping out all the wealth, and the state is getting nothing but mud and cancer…

the radical


WV Wildrness Lovers vs Proposed Pipeline July 23, 2014 at 7:50 am

Here we are in 2014 fighting a MAJOR battle with FOUR different gas companies in a race to burst through the mountains of WV and onto VA and NC……

I am focusing on EDUCATING the public on the KNOWN health dangers and public safety issues. PLEASE check out our Facebook page or the BLOG and learn and share….

and FYI, there has NOT been ONE representative from Dominion to speak on this issue – myself and Ed Wade Jr of Wetzel County action group have given thorough presentations at the Pocahontas County Commissioners Meeting on July 1st, the Mill Creek Town Council and is scheduled on August 7th at the Randolph County Comm. meeting and a public meeting at the Durbin Fire Hall later that day at 6PM – this is BIG folks, please help educate the public.


Michael Webb February 13, 2015 at 10:58 am

Hopefully the entire world will be living in grass huts, using solar generated power, eating birds killed by the windmills, and drinking water polluted by mercury from fluorescent bulbs if the newly discovered atmospheric anomaly “climate change” doesnt kill us, and we wont have to build those horrible pipelines.


R. Scott Mick February 13, 2015 at 6:07 pm

I would rather live in a grass hut with solar power than to continue this cycle of fossil fuel legacies.

How many confirmed cases of water pollution has horizontal drilling caused? If you don’t know, check out the Scranton Times, the Judge ordered PADEP to confirm the peer reviewed publications from a number of acedemics world wide.

The future of energy is renewable and even Exxon did a publication on that. I love how anytime the reckless persuit of fossil fuels is challenged that people put us back in the stone age when the reality is renewable energy has made enormous strides.

Do you live near a compressor station or pigging station? Conditions there would have you moving away a.s.a.p.

Lets have vision instead of being stuck in the stone age with the same old fossil fuels. Gotta go now and fix the walls in my grass hut and look for birds near those horrible wind mills.

Maybe you can’t see climate change directly but the published studies on CO2 rise, average temperature rise, ocean level rise and species extinction should open your eyes.


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