Image used for illustrative purpose only. Image by Alexey Hulsov from Pixabay
3 minutes read

Three large natural gas pipeline projects are proposed for North Carolina

Three companies — Equitrans Midstream, Dominion Energy and Williams — have proposed building major natural gas pipelines in North Carolina, primarily in the middle third of the state. The energy companies justify these projects by claiming natural gas must serve as a “bridge fuel” to meet power demands while coal-fired plants are mothballed. Environmental and clean energy advocates argue that methane emissions from these projects — starting at the fracking operations where gas is extracted, to the compressor stations that move the gas through the system, to the pipelines themselves — will accelerate climate change. Methane is a potent greenhouse gas, and while short-lived in the atmosphere compared to carbon dioxide, does more damage.

The locations of these pipelines also have environmental justice implications. Based on the number of incidents per 1,000 gas pipeline transmission miles, the rate of accidents in disadvantaged communities in North Carolina is 50% higher than those in more affluent, predominantly white areas, according to federal data. This disparity in the incident rate occurs even though disadvantaged communities have only 1,256 gas transmission miles, compared with 2,715 in advantaged communities. MVP Southgate: A separate project, but a continuation of the Mountain Valley Pipeline, the southern leg starts in Pittsylvania County, Virginia, and enter North Carolina near Eden, in Rockingham County. Originally, MVP Southgate was planned to traverse southeast through Alamance County, ending near Haw River. In December, Equitrans Midstream, the pipeline operator, announced it would shorten the route to remain solely within Rockingham County. An updated map has not been released. The southern segment hinges on the completion of the main MVP line. But already years behind schedule and billions of dollars over budget, the main line has again been delayed until the second quarter of this year. This pipeline is regulated by FERC, the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, and will need state environmental permits.

T15 Reliability Project: Dominion Energy recently announced it plans to construct a 45-mile pipeline between Eden and Roxboro. It would connect the MVP Southgate project to Duke Energy’s two proposed natural gas plants at Hyco Lake, which will replace the coal-fired units. The new units are scheduled for completion in about 10 years. Since this pipeline would not cross state lines, it would not require FERC approval, but would be regulated by the N.C. Utilities Commission. However, Dominion would have to secure permits from N.C. Department of Environmental Quality and, if the pipeline crosses navigable rivers, creeks or streams, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers. Southeast Supply Enhancement: Williams Companies, which operates the Transcontinental Pipeline over 10,000 winding miles from Texas, through the Southeast to New York City, plans to expand. The Southeast Supply Enhancement would build additional pipeline looping adjacent to the existing Transco corridor. In addition, three compressor stations, in Cleveland, Iredell and Davidson counties, would be upgraded. The company has set an operational date of late 2027. Since it spans several states, the project will require FERC approval.

We’ve also provided a transcript of this presentation about pipelines.

Eighty-six counties in North Carolina contain some length of natural gas transmission pipeline; 14 have none. Here is a list of mileage by county.

Natural gas pipelines are different from hazardous liquid pipelines; the latter transmits gasoline, diesel and crude oil. Colonial Pipeline is a major carrier of hazardous liquids through North Carolina and owns an enormous tank farm in Guilford County along Interstate 40.

Counties with the most miles of natural gas and hazardous liquid pipelines, combined

  1. Guilford • 325                    7. Wake • 179
  2. Mecklenburg • 288           8. Johnston • 166
  3. Rowan • 236                       9. Cabarrus 120
  4. Davidson • 223.5               10. Robeson • 119.5
  5. Rockingham • 188             11. Chatham • 100
  6. Gaston • 183                       12. Alamance • 99.5

Counties with more than 100 miles of natural gas transmission pipelines

  1. Mecklenburg • 188           5.  Rockingham • 112
  2. Rowan • 149                       6.  Johnston • 107
  3. Guilford • 122                    7.  Gaston • 106
  4. Robeson • 119.                   8. Davidson • 104

Hazardous liquid pipelines run through 22 counties. Here is their ranking by number of miles: 

  1. Guilford • 203                    12. Brunswick • 28
  2. Davidson • 119.5                13. Moore • 27
  3. Wake • 107                          14. Harnett • 25.5
  4. Mecklenburg • 99.5           15. Richmond • 24.5
  5. Rowan • 87                         16. Cabarrus • 23
  6. Gaston • 76                         17. Lee • 20.5
  7. Rockingham • 75.5            18. Cumberland • 9
  8. Chatham • 74                      19. Cleveland • 8.5
  9. Johnston • 59                     20. Wayne • 5.5
  10. Alamance • 40                    21. Person • 3
  11. Caswell • 28                       22. New Hanover • 1.5

Source: National Pipeline Mapping System; numbers are rounded to the nearest half mile.

Legal Disclaimer:
NC News
GLOBAL FLOW CONTROL provides the information “as is” without warranty of any kind. We do not accept any responsibility or liability for the accuracy, content, images, videos, licenses, completeness, legality, or reliability of the information contained in this article. If you have any complaints or copyright issues related to this article, kindly contact the provider above. "

Latest News

  • LNG and Industrial Gases
    1 minute read

    Technip Energies awarded new contract at…

    19 Jun. 2024 | Global Flow Control
  • Hydrogen and Carbon Capture
    3 minutes read

    McDermott Selected by Abraxas Power for…

    19 Jun. 2024 | Global Flow Control
  • Mining and Metals
    2 minutes read

    Occidental Petroleum and Berkshire Hathaway Join…

    18 Jun. 2024 | Global Flow Control
  • Renewables
    2 minutes read

    USA invests $126 Million in Indonesian…

    18 Jun. 2024 | Global Flow Control