The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission was in Ardmore on Tuesday for one of four public scoping sessions taking place across the state for Cheniere Midstream’s Midcontinent Supply Header Interstate Pipeline project.
The scoping sessions allow the FERC to get public input before drafting a preliminary Environmental Impact Statement for the project that will involve building a new natural gas pipeline through Carter, Stephens, Johnston, Bryan, Grady, Canadian and Kingfisher counties. The commission then uses the EIS to determine whether the project is in the public convenience and necessity.
Matt Barr, director of government and public affairs at Cheniere, said one of the things they have looked at when studying potential project sites and routes was preexisting pipelines.
“One of the important things is that about 60 percent of the proposed routes are along pipeline rights of way,” Barr said.
The company tried to co-locate their pipeline in as many existing rights of way as possible, he said.
The company entered the pre-filing process in Nov. 2016. The plan is to construct and operate approximately 200 miles of mainline and lateral natural gas pipeline, including appurtenant facilities, from Okarche to Bennington. That is considered Zone 1 of the project.
Zone 2 of the project involves an additional 350 miles of existing pipeline.
“There’s approximately 350 miles of leased capacity that carries into Louisiana and into the Gulf Coast,” Barr said.
Capacity will be taken away from the SCOOP and STACK region, South Central Oklahoma Oil Province and Sooner Trend Anadarko Basin Canadian and Kingfisher, respectively.
The Oklahoma Corporation Commission announced at the beginning of the year that Oklahoma’s oil and gas industry was going to launch major operations in the two areas and would account for the vast majority of new oil and gas activity in the state.
In order to be proactive, the Oklahoma Corporation Commission’s Oil and Gas Conservation Division and the Oklahoma Geological Survey developed seismicity guidelines focused on operators in the SCOOP and STACK.
Barr said the uptick in Oklahoma earthquakes is an issue they are aware of and there will be strict oversight from the FERC as they move through the pre-filing process. The FERC and a number of local and state agencies are all looking at some those issues, as well, from a permitting and regulatory standpoint.
The company is still early on in the process and Barr said they are still trying to gather input from as many stakeholders and landowners as possible. As the FERC develops the EIS draft, he said they will continue their stakeholder engagement through the process.
Once the EIS is drafted and there is a public comment period opened, the FERC will issue a final EIS and determine whether to approve the project. Cheniere Midstream will then be able to proceed with construction and operation of the project.
“Summer 2018 we expect to receive the order that allows us to start construction,” Barr said.
The project is estimated to create approximately 1,000 jobs during the construction. Barr said they plan on doing as much sourcing of local labor and materials as possible. The lead engineering firm, TRC, is even based out of Tulsa, he said.
The MIDSHIP project is estimated to cost upward of $1.2 billion and, once complete, the two-zone system would provide about 1.4 billion cubic feet of natural gas per day from the SCOOP and STACK plays to the Gulf Coast markets.
If you were unable to attend a public scoping session, comments can be sent to the FERC on or before Feb. 27. Comments can be filed electronically at www.ferc.gov using the eComment feature and clicking on the Documents and Filings link. New eFiling users must first create an account by clicking on eRegister.
Comments can also be submitted via mail at the following address: Kimberly D. Bose, Secretary, Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, 888 First Street NE, Room 1A, Washington, DC 20426. Individuals are asked to reference the project docket number (PF17-3-000) with their submission.
To ask questions about filing comments call (202) 502-8258 or email efiling@ferc.gov.