Atlantic Sunrise Pipeline Schedule Delayed by FERC Review

by Duane Nichols on November 8, 2016

Proposed Atlantic Sunrise Pipeline

Williams Pushes Back In-Service For Atlantic Sunrise Based on FERC Review Timeline

From an Article by Jeremiah Shelor, Natural Gas Intelligence, October 28, 2016

Williams Partners LP is delaying the target in-service date for its Atlantic Sunrise expansion project to mid-2018, with partial service on the project starting in late 2017, it said Friday.

Williams had previously planned to begin full operation of Atlantic Sunrise — a 1.7 Bcf/d expansion of its Transcontinental Gas Pipe Line Co. LLC (Transco) system — by late 2017.

The Tulsa, OK-based company pointed to the revised environmental review schedule FERC released last week for the project as the reason for the delay. In an Oct. 20 filing on the Atlantic Sunrise docket [CP15-138], staff for the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission pushed back the release of the final environmental impact statement (EIS) to Dec. 30, with a final decision arriving as late as March 30, 2017.

Williams said Friday it expects to begin work on expanding the Transco mainline in mid-2017 to open up capacity running from the northern portion of system to Southeast market areas in time for the winter 2017-2018 heating season.

“Unlike other Marcellus takeaway projects, a leading advantage of Atlantic Sunrise is that through modifications to the existing Transco mainline, the project will be able to deliver a highly effective, environmentally-responsible solution to connect Pennsylvania natural gas production with markets hundreds of miles away,” Williams’ Rory Miller, senior vice president of the Atlantic-Gulf operating area, said.

“In advance of putting the full project into service, this affords us a unique opportunity to provide a portion of service prior to completing the full project.”

The roughly $3 billion Atlantic Sunrise project aims to open up a path for constrained Marcellus Shale gas to reach markets in the Southeast through the Transco system running along the Atlantic seaboard. According to the project’s draft EIS, the expansion would include about 197.7 miles of pipeline composed of about 184 miles of new 30- and 42-inch diameter pipeline for the greenfield CPL North and CPL South segments in Pennsylvania; about 12 miles of new 36- and 42-inch diameter pipeline looping known as Chapman and Unity Loops in Pennsylvania; about three miles of 30-inch diameter replacements in Virginia; and associated compressor stations, equipment and facilities.

Earlier this month, FERC requested additional information on a pair of minor route alternatives for Atlantic Sunrise’s greenfield segments in Pennsylvania, which caused some heartburn for Williams and anchor shipper Cabot Oil & Gas Corp., whose stocks took a hit when news of the filing spread and the market began to speculate on the possibility of a delay.

Cabot, which held a conference call Friday to announce its 3Q2016 results, signed up for 850 MMcf/d on Atlantic Sunrise (see related story).

FERC issued a favorable draft EIS for Atlantic Sunrise in May.

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PennEast Pipeline November 10, 2016 at 4:27 am

Another Day, Another Pipeline Delay: FERC Pushes Back PennEast EIS

From an Article by Jeremiah Shelor, NGI News, November 9, 2016

FERC has delayed by two months the final environmental impact statement (EIS) for PennEast Pipeline Co. LLC, according to a revised notice Tuesday [CP15-558].

The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission had originally scheduled the final EIS for Dec. 16 but pushed it to Feb. 17, with a 90-day federal authorization decision deadline of May 18. FERC cited “new route modifications filed by PennEast” as a contributing factor in its decision to prolong the environmental review schedule. In September, PennEast filed 33 minor route variations as part of ongoing efforts to limit impacts on landowners and the environment.

PennEast received a favorable draft EIS from FERC in July. The 114-mile, 36-inch diameter greenfield PennEast would transport 1.11 million Dth/d of Marcellus Shale gas to markets in Pennsylvania and New Jersey.

New Jersey Natural Gas Co. is the largest taker of capacity with 180,000 Dth/d. PSEG Power LLC and Texas Eastern Transmission each have 125,000 Dth/d. South Jersey Gas. Co. has 105,000 Dth/d, and Consolidated Edison Co. of New York Inc., Elizabethtown Gas, and UGI Energy Services LLC each have 100,000 Dth/d.

PennEast is a joint venture backed by NJR Pipeline Co., Public Service Enterprise Group, SJI Midstream, Southern Company Gas, Spectra Energy Partners LP and UGI Energy Services.

Like other Northeast pipeline proposals, the project has faced vocal opposition from environmental groups. New Jersey’s utility consumer advocate also came out against the pipeline, arguing to FERC that the project isn’t needed and would be an unfair burden on ratepayers. PennEast refuted those claims.

Atlantic Sunrise, another planned Marcellus takeaway project that would add 1.7 million Dth/d moving south on Transcontinental Gas Pipe Line Co. LLC’s system, recently received a delayed environmental review timeline from FERC. The delay also related to route variations on greenfield segments in Pennsylvania.


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