According to data provided to Crain’s from IHS Inc. and Platts, there are five major interstate natural gas pipelines that come into Michigan, with a combined capacity of about 8 billion cubic feet per day.
The proposed Rover and Nexus pipelines would increase that capacity by 35 percent.
How will Michigan absorb all this? Some, of course, will go to utilities. DTE Energy Co.’s electric and gas utilities already are signed up as Nexus customers. Consumers Energy is staying mum on whether it plans to sign up for either pipeline. If it does not, it still could end up buying gas from one of the other pipes’ “shippers,” or customers, many of which are natural gas producers.
Beyond that, it’s too early to tell just how much natural gas will be used in Michigan, but not all of it will end up here.
DTE expects Nexus to pick up utility customers in Ohio along the way to Michigan. For Rover’s part, the pipeline will hook up with existing infrastructure in Defiance County, Ohio, that will allow gas to be delivered to the Gulf Coast, dropping its capacity from 3.25 billion cubic feet per day to 1.3 billion cubic feet per day by the time it hits Michigan.
Once in Michigan, each pipe would connect with an existing interstate pipeline called Vector (of which DTE owns 40 percent). Vector allows for transport to distribution hubs near Chicago and in Ontario that connect to other long-range pipelines.
Because of these connections, it’s likely that most of the natural gas shipped on these pipelines will end up outside Michigan.