LISBON - Columbiana County residents whose property falls within the path of a proposed pipeline that would connect Ohio's shale gas fields with markets in the southwest should soon be receiving a letter about the project.
Wendy Olson, a spokeswoman for Spectra Energy Corp., confirmed that introductory letters will be mailed within the next several weeks to residents whose property falls within the path of the proposed pipeline.
The letters will include an explanation of the project, the process to be followed in obtaining easements from property owners, names and phone numbers of contact persons who can answer questions about the project, and names and numbers of those involved in obtaining easements. The letter will also seek permission to conduct property surveys.
Spectra announced in December it was working with Chesapeake Energy and American Electric Power on a joint venture to build a 70-mile pipeline through Ohio that would connect with Spectra's Texas Eastern pipeline system, which runs from New York to Texas.
Spectra's online map of the project actually shows the path of the proposed 36-inch transmission pipeline entering Ohio south of Columbiana County, but county Commissioner Mike Halleck reported at this week's meeting he was told by company officials the pipeline would run through the county.
According to Halleck, the pipeline would also pass through Carroll, Harrison, Belmont and Monroe counties before connecting near Clarington with the Texas Eastern pipeline, which runs from east to west through Ohio.
Olson did not have any detailed information on the exact path of the pipeline, saying a new more detailed map is still under development.
"The project is still very much in the early phase," she explained, adding their goal will be to "communicate early and communicate often" with property owners to keep them informed every step of the process.
Chesapeake, the second largest producer of natural gas in the United States, is the largest player in the shale gas boom under way in Ohio in terms of acreage under lease. AEP is one of the largest electric companies in the country and operates several natural gas-fired power plants in the Ohio and the midwest.
The pipeline would be made of high-grade manufactured steel and buried at least 3 feet underground, with some sections being buried deeper, depending on the location.