Local gas to be sent to Asia

NATRIUM – Natural gas drawn from the Upper Ohio Valley could be used to heat homes in Tokyo and New Delhi, pending Dominion Resources’ completion of a $3.8 billion gas liquefaction project in Maryland.

Dominion is seeking permission from the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission to complete the Cove Point project in Marshall County, W.Va., where the company intends to collect natural gas from the eastern United States, then liquefy, store and load the gas into ships brought to the facility on the Chesapeake Bay. Ultimately, the products could be used by Asian allies.

Subject to regulatory approval, the facilities could be in service by 2017.

“Japan and India are important allies and trading partners of the United States that are in need of secure sources of natural gas,” said Thomas F. Farrell II, Dominion chairman, president and chief executive officer.

While the gas liquefied at Cove Point may be extracted from a variety of areas, Farrell said Cove Point will be a premier facility in terms of “direct access to the Marcellus and Utica shale plays,” which he described as two of the most prolific natural gas basins in North America.

“No other proposed liquefaction facility can provide the strategic value in terms of supply and location,” Farrell said, noting his company is “well positioned to obtain permission from the U.S. Department of Energy to move forward with this vital infrastructure project.”