Monday, June 11, 2012

Dominion Gambling on Utica Shale

From the Akron Beacon Journal:
CLEVELAND: Dominion East Ohio, the primary supplier of natural gas to eastern Ohio for decades, is finding itself at the center of Ohio’s Utica shale boom. 
The search for new sources of natural gas is happening directly under Dominion East Ohio’s 20,000 miles of pipelines, putting the company in an advantageous position for transporting the newfound hydrocarbons. 
“We’re very strategically placed,” said Anne E. Bomar, senior vice president and general manager of the company. Natural gas producers “love us,” she said. “Geology and geography drive costs. We’re in a very good place. …We want to optimize our infrastructure.” 
The company is talking to more than 24 drilling companies about transporting natural gas, oil and lucrative “wet gases” from the Utica shale, and can provide 40 interconnections with seven major pipelines that cross the eastern United States. 
And because Dominion has excess capacity, it has an advantage over competitors who want to build lines, a process that can take several years, Bomar said. 
“We’re excited about the scope of our opportunity.” 
Taking the lead 
Dominion East Ohio is a natural gas distribution subsidiary of Virginia-based Dominion Resources Inc. 
Dominion Resources already is positioned to be a player in the Marcellus and Utica shale development that stretches from New York through Pennsylvania and into Ohio, but the company is spending more than $1 billion through its subsidiaries to maintain its advantage. 
That includes $200 million in the East Ohio facilities, $500 million on a processing plant and $600 million for West Virginia and Pennsylvania pipelines. 
The parent has 12,000 miles of natural gas transmission, gathering and storage pipelines plus 6,000 miles of electric transmission lines and 27,600 megawatts of electric generation providing electric and gas to customers in 15 states. 
The East Ohio unit does not produce natural gas, but instead distributes to 1.2 million customers in Northeast Ohio who consume about 97,000 mcf (1,000 cubic feet) of gas per year. 
Because of its extensive pipeline system, the company already handles about 80 percent of the natural gas produced in Ohio, Bomar said.
Read the rest of the article here.

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