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Columbia Pipeline Group Pre-Files for Mountaineer XPress

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Columbia Pipeline Group, Inc.CPGX and Columbia Pipeline Partners LP CPPL announced that a pipeline project of their subsidiary - Columbia Gas Transmission, LLC - has been accepted by the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission ("FERC") for a pre-filing review process.

Mountaineer Xpress

Mounting oil production in the Marcellus and Utica shale plays in the U.S. Northeast has created quite a stir in the energy sector. These reserve-rich plays have led to aggressive drilling activity. And in turn, it has created huge opportunities for the midstream operators for the transportation of oil and natural gas.

The $2 billion Mountaineer XPress Project will provide midstream facilities from Marcellus and Utica production areas to the markets served by Columbia Gas Transmission and Columbia Gulf Transmission.

Proposed around the fourth quarter of 2014, Mountaineer Xpress will have a 165-mile long pipeline from Marshall County to Wayne County in West Virginia. The pipeline will support a firm transportation capacity of 2.7 billion cubic feet per day (Bcf/d) from current and new terminals of receipt along or near Columbia Transmission's system. The project will operate in close proximity to third party processing plants in the Appalachian region.

Work on the project will include construction of three new stations in Doddridge, Jackson and Calhoun counties as well as upgrades to three existing Columbia compressor stations in Kanawha, Wayne and Marshall counties, all in West Virginia. The pipeline construction will take place in about 12 West Virginia counties.

The company intends to formally file the application for Mountaineer Xpress as well as another pipeline project called Gulf Xpress Project in Apr 2016. Subject to authorization, Columbia Pipeline expects to begin the construction in the fall of 2017 and place the project into service by the end of 2018.

Before the start of preliminary work, Mountaineer Xpress will be subject to careful environmental scrutiny overseen by the FERC. To ensure community involvement, Columbia Pipeline has already started networking with local landowners, officials and communities.

Recent Approval

Houston-based Columbia Pipeline Group, which was separated from its parent, NiSource Inc. NI , in Jul 2015, recently won approval from the FERC to commence construction on the Cameron Access Project, a natural gas infrastructure project in Southwest Louisiana. The project will include improvements to Columbia Gulf's existing pipeline system, construction of a new compressor station and the installation of a roughly 26-mile greenfield pipeline.

Future Plans

Columbia Pipeline Group is currently on an expansion mode, projecting to triple its scale of operations over the next five years. The company has a planned investment of over $10 billion lined up for the next few years.

Zacks Rank

Columbia Pipeline Group currently has a Zacks Rank #3 (Hold). VTTI Energy Partners LP VTTI is a better-ranked oil and gas operator, carrying a Zacks Rank #2 (Buy).

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The views and opinions expressed herein are the views and opinions of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Nasdaq, Inc.


The views and opinions expressed herein are the views and opinions of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Nasdaq, Inc.

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