New Castle News

October 30, 2013

Hickory Bend pipelines will come through county

Debbie Wachter
New Castle News

NEW CASTLE —  Two natural gas liquid transmission pipelines through Lawrence County will connect with a cryogenic processing plant near the Ohio line.

The pipelines and plant are part of Hickory Bend, a project of NiSource Midstream Services, which is building the cryogenic plant near New Middletown, Ohio, just over the state line from North Beaver Township. NiSource has partnered with Harvest Pipeline Co. for the venture. Harvest Pipeline Co. is the midstream subsidiary of Hilcorp Energy Inc.

NiSource is investing about $375 million for the plant and the gathering system pipeline, said Sarah Barczyk, the company’s manager of community relations.

The cryogenic plant will have the capacity to process an estimated 200 million cubic feet of gas per day.

One pipeline to come through the county, known as the 600 line, will extend from Pulaski to the Ohio cryogenic plant, Barczyk said.

A second, 33-mile conduit, known as the 700 line, will extend from Jefferson Township in Mercer County to Pulaski Township in Lawrence County and will go through Mahoning, North Beaver, Pulaski and Union townships in Lawrence County, and Jefferson, Wilmington, Shenango, Lackawannock and Sugar Grove townships in Mercer County.

Construction of both lines is to begin in January and be completed by mid-May, Barczyk said. The two lines will be hooked together and connected to existing infrastructure in Jefferson Township.

The natural gas is being produced from shale formations in western Pennsylvania and Ohio.

She explained the pipeline is a gathering conduit with special infrastructure to transport gas from well heads to the cryogenic plant.

At the plant, the wet gas will be separated from the dry gas and the dry gas will go into a transmission system for heating homes and businesses.

Barczyk said the wet gas from the cryogenic plant will be piped to the Kensington plant in Harrison County, Ohio, near Columbiana, and will hook into infrastructure there and be piped to a fractionation facility, or cracker plant, which separates the liquid gas into parts to send to markets that use the components.

Last month, Pennant Midstream announced plans for an even larger project that will connect the New Middletown cryogenic plant to the Kensington facility near Columbiana, Ohio, and have the capacity to deliver about 90,000 barrels of liquid gas per day.

Construction of the cryogenic plant began in June and is expected to be online with gas flowing by the end of December, Barczyk said, adding the entire Hickory Bend gathering system project is scheduled to be in service by June.

“We expect all of the pipeline in Pennsylvania to be completed by that time.”

Hilcorp Energy Inc. of Houston is doing a lot of the shale drilling in the Pulaski area.

NiSource and Harvest Pipeline together own Pennant Midstream.

Pennant is building the plant and the pipeline, Barczyk said, and NiSource Midstream will operate it.

The companies recently hosted an open house to introduce the Hickory Bend project to local elected officials and community leaders. Project team members and experts addressed construction, land, environmental compliance, safety, community investment and economic development.

“Our investment in the Hickory Bend gathering system means jobs and economic development for Pennsylvania,” Chad Zamarin, chief operating officer of NiSource and president of Pennant, said in a prepared statement.

NiSource Midstream Services is a wholly owned entity of NiSource Inc., a Fortune 500 energy utility company. One of the Columbia Pipeline Group companies, NiSource Midstream was formed to provide specific natural gas producer services, including gathering, treatment, conditioning, processing and liquids handling with a focus on the Appalachian Basin, according to the statement.

As units of NiSource Inc., Columbia Pipeline Group companies include Columbia Gas Transmission, Columbia Gulf Transmission, Crossroads Pipeline, Central Kentucky Transmission and Hardy Storage. Combined with Columbia Pipeline Group’s operation of Millennium Pipeline Co., the firms operate about 15,000 miles of interstate natural gas pipeline and 37 storage fields, delivering more than 1 trillion cubic feet of natural gas per year.

More information about Columbia Pipeline Group is available online at

Hilcorp Energy Co., founded in 1989, has more than 1,100 employees and is one of the largest privately held independent oil and natural gas exploration and production companies in the country.

It currently is the primary drilling company in western Lawrence County, where most of its well operations are in the Pulaski area.

(Tomorrow: A look at details for the Bluegrass pipeline and the Sunoco’s Allegheny Access pipeline, both of which are coming through here.)