Columbia Pipeline Group implements projects expected to triple company

CPG announced the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission approved updates to the company's facilities in Louisiana.

Two months ago, Columbia Pipeline Group, Inc. separated from NiSource, a gas and electric company operating in Indiana, Kentucky, Maryland, Massachusetts, Ohio, Pennsylvania and Virginia. Now, CPG announced the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission has approved updates to the company's facilities in Louisiana.

The improvements, called the Cameron Access Project, will cost $310 million and will include updates to pipeline systems and ancillary facilities already in use, as well as a new compressor system near Lake Arthur, Louisiana, and new pipelines.

"We are pleased that the FERC has approved our application to construct the Cameron Access Project," the company's President, Glen Kettering, said in a press release. "This is an important natural gas infrastructure project that further connects abundant, but constrained, Appalachian supplies to higher value markets."

According to Natural Gas Intelligence, the project would also make changes to Columbia Gulf's West Lateral system. The system has always flowed from west to east, then north, but shifts in supply sources have resulted in alterations made in systems like these. Changing the flow to east to west will give shippers new opportunities for shipping their gas.

Growing the company
The Cameron Access Project is just one part of a series of projects expected to triple the size of the company over the next five years, according to a press release. It will cost about $300 million, Natural Gas Intelligence reported.

"The Cameron Access Project is an integral part of the $10-plus billion project backlog that CPG will be executing on over the next several years and, we anticipate, will triple the size of the company by 2020," Kettering explained in a press release.  "It's a prime example of our core infrastructure expansion projects that continue to offer innovative transportation solutions to both producers as well as evolving end-use markets."

Another change CPG is implementing will take place in its headquarters in Houston, according to Houston Business Journal. The company plans to expand its Houston office by 20,000 square feet. Plus, it plans to continue to hire more people. Between 2010 and 2015, the office employee base more than doubled, and it plans to continue this trend over the next year.

Xpress projects
After CPG split from NiSource, the company announced plans to spend $4.45 billion on projects in the Utica and Marcellus shale regions in the northeast U.S, according to Oil & Gas Financial Journal. The three projects included are the Mountaineer Xpress, the Gulf Xpress and the Leach Xpress.

The Gulf Xpress involves installing compression in stations along the Gulf Coast, along with other system modifications. The Mountaineer Xpress expands Columbia Gas Transmission by 165 miles of pipeline, according to Natural Gas Intelligence. It will increase the company's ability to deliver to Kentucky and the Gulf Coast. The Leach Xpress will bring 125.7 miles of pipeline to southern Ohio, according to Ohio NBC affiliate WHIZ Media Group.

The Mountaineer Xpress and Leach Xpress are two of six projects expected to bring 17,000 jobs to West Virginia, southeastern Ohio and the surrounding area, according to The Exponent Telegram, a West Virginia newspaper.

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