Monday numbers: A closer look at the proposed MVP Southgate pipeline

By: - June 25, 2018 5:00 am

Packed houses are expected at two public meetings this week about a second proposed natural gas pipeline in North Carolina. MVP Southgate and the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) are holding events tonight in Burlington at the Palladium, 1272 Plaza Drive, from 5:30 to 7:30. The second meeting is scheduled for Tuesday at the Reidsville Event Center, 223 S. Scales St., also from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m.

The MVP Southgate natural gas pipeline would extend from Virginia into Rockingham County, east of Eden, and to Alamance County, near Graham. Although MVP Southgate has pre-filed documents with FERC, it has not applied for any permits with the NC Department of Environmental Quality.

Natural gas pipelines not only can explode, as occurred in Kansas and West Virginia in the last month, but a new report in the peer-reviewed journal Science shows they leak methane at higher amounts than previously thought. Methane is a greenhouse gas that contributes to climate change, even more than carbon dioxide.

Many residents along the potential route have reported being harassed by land agents and surveying companies working for MVP Southgate. These crews want access to private property to scope out possible routes.

Landowners can learn about their rights in an online brochure produced by FERC.

46 – Miles of MVP Southgate pipeline that would travel through North Carolina

$350 million — $500 million – Estimated cost for total project

$177 million – Net income, January – March 2018 of EQT Midstream Partners, co-owner of the pipeline

24 –  Diameter of the pipeline, inches

18 – Diameter of a basketball rim, inches

81 – Number of proposed stream crossings in NC

34  – Percentage of proposed route that is forested

1,564 – Number of natural gas pipeline incidents, US, 2010-2016

2 – Number of major natural gas explosions in the past month

3.25 trillion cubic feet – Amount of methane produced per year, US

2.3 – Percentage of methane that leaks from natural gas pipelines, from total production, per year

74.7 billion – That amount in cubic feet

60% – Amount of annual methane leaks that was underestimated by the EPA

Sources:  Company investor reports,,, The New York Times, US Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Administration,

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Lisa Sorg
Lisa Sorg

Assistant Editor and Environmental Reporter Lisa Sorg helps manage newsroom operations while covering the environment, climate change, agriculture and energy.