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EQT, NextEra Seek FERC Pre-Filing Review for Marcellus/Utica Pipeline

Mountain Valley Pipeline, a joint venture (JV) of affiliates of EQT Corp. and NextEra Energy Inc., has requested that FERC initiate its National Environmental Policy Act pre-filing review of the Mountain Valley Pipeline Project, a proposed 300-mile pipeline that would deliver Marcellus and Utica shale natural gas to high-demand markets in the southeastern United States.

The JV requested a decision from the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission by February, with construction expected to begin in January 2017 and a target in-service date of December 2018, according to the request. The pipeline would initially transport at least 2 Bcf/d to growing markets in the Appalachian, mid-Atlantic and Southeast.

The companies announced the project in June and launched a nonbinding open season at that time (see Shale DailyJune 12). After receiving more than 1.5 Bcf/d of firm capacity commitments, they launched a binding open season last month, and announced the JV to construct and operate the 42-inch diameter pipeline, which will leverage existing assets and an extensive pipeline network (see Shale DailySept. 2).

The pipeline would receive regional gas production from interstate systems at various interconnections, including the existing Equitrans transmission systems in West Virginia and southwest Pennsylvania. It would also take gas from EQT Midstream Partners LP's planned Ohio Valley Connector, which will extend Equitrans from West Virginia to Clarington, OH, and connect with the Rockies Express and Texas Eastern pipelines. It would also extend the Equitrans system from Wetzel County, WV, to the primary delivery point at Transcontinental Gas Pipeline Co.'s (Transco) Zone 5 compressor station in Virginia.

The Southeast has increasingly become a target for producers in the Appalachian Basin, where prices have been depressed and where producers have struggled to move their natural gas. A number of other companies are considering pipeline projects to deliver Marcellus and Utica gas there (see Daily GPIMay 28May 20).

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