Pipeline easements move ahead in Columbiana County

LISBON – Two more gas and oil pipeline easements have been approved by the Columbiana County Port Authority.

The first agreement with Arrowhead Utica Pipeline LLC will connect the Marathon Ohio River Terminal to another pipeline owned by Hilcorp Energy Co. According to Port Authority Executive Director Tracy Drake, a 10-inch pipeline will run along the railroad tracks in Wellsville on the state Route 7 side and then go underneath the tracks to the tanks.

The easement lease will reportedly net the Port Authority $17,500. The lease remains in effect for the next 30 years.

Maurice Barnes, a senior project engineer from Harvest Pipeline, a subsidiary of Hilcorp, attended the meeting, but members of the Port Authority board had no questions about the project for him. His company’s policy did not allow him to speak to the press on behalf of the company.

Hilcorp Energy has partnered with NiSource Midstream Services in the the Hickory Bend Processing Plant and a gathering line project, which is being completed in Springfield Township. The cryogenics processing plant is expected to be operational, in December and the pipeline, which will be used to move liquid natural gas, is expected to be completed by mid-2014.

A second easement was approved for Sunoco to lay pipeline along the easement of the Youngstown and Southern Railroad. It was announced last month the railroad is being sold by the Port Authority to Mule Sidetracks, a subsidiary of the MarkWest Energy Partners. However, the sale reportedly has 30 days to go through. Drake said Sunoco and Mule Sidetracks would like to see this easement granted as soon as possible so the port authority needed to sign off on the project.

The lease will allow Sunoco a 50-foot wide easement in both Mahoning County and Beaver County, Pa., for the installation and maintenance of an underground pipeline. The 36-mile former Youngstown & Southern Railroad runs from Boardman through the Columbiana County communities of Columbiana, Rogers and Negley before ending near Darlington, Pa.

MarkWest Energy Partners is the company involved in construction of a $500 million natural gas storage, transportation and fractionization facility near Scio in Harrison County that is to receive gas from the $400 million collection and processing plant being built near Kensington.