Construction on compressor station to begin
PARKERSBURG — Construction will start around the end of the month on three multi-million-dollar compressor stations in Calhoun, Doddridge and Jackson counties for the recently approved Mountaineer XPress natural gas pipeline.
Each station will cost about $100 million, said Scott Castleman, manager U.S. natural gas communications for TransCanada, the Columbia Gas Transmission parent company constructing the 165-mile, more than $2 billion pipeline.
“There will be big dollars coming into the state of West Virginia,” Castleman said.
The pipeline will stretch from the Northern Panhandle to Cabell County through Marshall, Wetzel, Doddridge, Ritchie, Calhoun, Wirt, Roane, Jackson and Putnam counties.
The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission in December approved the project and the GulfXPress pipeline, issuing a certificate of public convenience and necessity for the projects intended to transport natural gas supply from West Virginia to U.S. markets. Thousands of jobs are anticipated to be created, either directly, indirectly or added by companies because of the additional business caused by the pipeline constructions. The number could be “astronomical,” Charlie Burd, executive director of the Independent Oil and Gas Association of West Virginia, said.
Many of those induced jobs will be at places like restaurants, hotels, convenience stores and gasoline stations, Burd said.
“This is what will keep our economy moving here,” Burd said.
In Jackson County, development officials were faced with the issue of finding places to live for at least 1,700 workers anticipated with the construction of the pipeline, according to Mark Whitley, director of the Jackson County Development Authority.
“We’ve been really working to find housing for the workers,” he said.
Providing places to live became a cottage industry in Doddridge County where the impact of the natural gas development started several years ago. People with made camp sites on any level land they had available and rented it to the oil and gas workers, Doddridge County Commission President Greg Robinson said.
Thousands of people are going to work in West Virginia on the pipelines, he said.
“And they’ll go to the restaurants and the grocery stores,” Robinson said.
Besides the pipelines, several major developments related to the oil and natural industry have been made in Doddridge County, the Mark West processing plant and the Antero Clearwater Facility and Landfill water recycling operation, both along U.S. 50. The Mark West plant is among the largest in the nation and future expansion are planned, Robinson said.
The Sherwood Compressor Station on the Mountaineer XPress in Doddridge County will be of West Virginia 18 near the county park. The Mount Olive Compressor Station in Jackson County will be located north of Kenna off Interstate 77.
The White Oak Compressor Station in Calhoun County will be on 2 Mile Road a few miles from the Ritchie County line. The Calhoun County Commission was so excited, it asked TransCanada to organize a ground breaking for 1 p.m. Tuesday.
Besides the additional business activity, county government and the school system will realize additional tax revenue from the pipeline project, Calhoun County Commissioner Chip Westfall said.
“Big time,” Westfall said.
The estimate is about $1.2 million a year, of which about three-quarters is for the school system, he said.
“This is going to be a lifesaver for Calhoun County,” Westfall said.