Company delays controversial Bluegrass Pipeline to 2016

FRANKFORT, Ky. (WKYT/AP) - As landowners fight against a pipeline to pump natural gas liquids through Kentucky, the company behind the project announced it is being delayed.

In a 2013 earnings report released Wednesday, energy company Williams Partners LP said the controversial project's completion would be a year later than originally planned.

"In our NGL & Petchem Services business, we are moving the target in-service timing of the joint-venture Bluegrass Pipeline project to mid-to-late 2016 to better align with the needs of producers," said Alan Armstrong, Williams' president and chief executive officer. "We continue to engage in ongoing discussions with potential customers regarding commitments to this large-scale, integrated solution that connects Marcellus-Utica natural gas liquids to diverse domestic markets, fractionation, storage and export facilities in the Gulf Coast."

The announcement came the same say a bill that would protect landowners from having their land seized for a pipeline to pump natural gas liquids has received its first committee hearing at the state capitol.

The measure would require private non-utility companies like those responsible for the hotly disputed Bluegrass Pipeline to obtain consent from a landowner before building.

Emotional testimony came from current residents of the counties where the proposed Bluegrass Pipeline would be installed. They say that after refusing to sell land to the pipeline companies, they have been threatened with land seizure under current eminent domain laws.

Oil and gas company representatives complained the measure could prevent the Bluegrass Pipeline from being installed in the counties.

A vote on the bill was postponed Wednesday to allow for further testimony.

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