Natural gas pipeline projects move closer to development
- Williams Partners announced last week that the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection and U.S. Army Corps of Engineers each issued required permits for its Atlantic Sunrise pipeline project, an expansion of the existing Transco natural gas pipeline.
- Also last week, the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission rejected a plea from environmental advocates to delay construction of National Fuel Gas Supply Corp.'s Northern Access Project that would link Pennsylvania and Canada, running through New York.
- Possibly on deck for later this year: FERC is expected to approve Dominion's Atlantic Coast Pipeline, according to The Washington post. The pipeline's 600-mile route would stretch from North Carolina into West Virginia.
There is still uncertainty surrounding a few points, but three major pipeline projects are edging closer to service.
Williams received permission from FERC to place the first stage of its project into service this month, largely including modifications to existing Transco facilities in Virginia and Maryland. The company said greenfield pipeline construction in Pennsylvania expected to commence early this fall
Williams said the expansion will cost nearly $3 billion and will increase deliveries by 1.7 billion cubic feet per day — sufficient to power seven million homes.
Micheal Dunn, Williams’ executive vice president and chief operating officer, said in a statement that the Atlantic Sunrise project has been through a "rigorous, thorough review process in Pennsylvania and we are committed to installing this important infrastructure in an environmentally responsible manner and in compliance with the state’s high environmental standards.”
The FERC approved the project in February of this year.
Also last week, FERC rejected a request to delay construction of National Fuel's Northern Access Pipeline. However, as Law360 notes, the project is still in limbo because the state rejected its request for a water permit, and the company is challenging that in court.
Northern Access is a $500 million privately-funded gas infrastructure expansion investment backed by National Fuel and Empire Pipeline, in Western New York and north-central Pennsylvania.
As for the Atlantic Coast Pipeline, Washington Post says the Dominion project is likely to be approved either this month or next (though in an opinion piece, the paper raises questions about the project's funding and how it could impact ratepayers).
The pipeline's route from North Carolina into West Virginia includes three planned compressor stations — one at the beginning of the pipeline in West Virginia's Lewis County, one in central Virginia and one near the state line in North Carolina's Northampton County.
The pipeline will cross roughly 2,900 private properties as well as the Monogahala National Forest in West Virginia, and the George Washington National Forest in Virginia. Last year, Dominion adopted an alternative route, reducing national forest miles by a third.
- The Washington Post Questions remain on Dominion’s proposed pipeline
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