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ETP seeks review of FERC orders on Rover line

31 Jan 2018 19:46 GMT
ETP seeks review of FERC orders on Rover line

Houston, 31 January (Argus) — Energy Transfer Partners has filed a petition for the US Court of Appeals in Washington DC to review two US Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) orders on the company's Rover natural gas pipeline.

The items Energy Transfer (ETP) submitted for review include FERC's February 2017 order which approved the project, but denied the company's request of a blanket certificate, resulting in the company having to seek individual authorizations to provide transportation services to particular customers. FERC in that order said it decided to deny the blanket certificate partially because of Rover's "intentional demolition" of a historic house. The 119-page order includes several other conditions accompanying approval.

The second order ETP is petitioning to review is FERC's November 2017 denial of a rehearing on its decision to deny a blanket certificate in light of the same house demolishment.

The Ohio State Historic Preservation Office in January 2016 said the Stoneman House, built in 1843 in Carroll County, Ohio, was eligible for the National Register of Historic Places and expressed concerns about a planned compressor station to be built across the road from the house as a part of the Rover project. The preservation group called for further consultation on ways to avoid or reduce adverse effects to the property.

But by the end of May 2016, Rover had purchased the property and torn the house down.

FERC in July 2017 accused ETP of lying about the demolition of the Stoneman House, saying the company promised it would avoid adverse effects to the property it ended up destroying. In response ETP said it had resolved outstanding issues regarding the house and would continue to work with FERC on the matter. Energy Transfer also agreed to pay the preservation group a one-time sum of $1.5mn.

The court petition filed this week does not reveal specifically why ETP is seeking a review of the two orders now, and a spokeswoman today declined to comment, saying the company does not comment on matters of litigation.

A letter ETP filed with FERC earlier this week said the company is "frustrated" by FERC's decision last week to halt drilling for the pipeline under the Tuscarawas river following pressure from the Ohio Environmental Protection Agency. Energy Transfer said the central premise that prompted the halt is inaccurate.

The 3.25 Bcf/d (92mn m³/d) Rover pipeline has experienced multiple delays and regulatory setbacks during construction. The pipeline in August started partial service of 1 Bcf/d from Cadiz to Defiance, Ohio. The full project has been planned to begin service by the end of March.