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Columbia Pipeline Group Files At FERC to Construct Mountaineer, Gulf XPress Projects

Columbia Pipeline Group Inc. (CPGX) has filed its applications with FERC to construct and operate its Mountaineer XPress (MXP) and Gulf XPress (GXP) pipeline projects, which would provide additional takeaway capacity from the Appalachian Basin.

The applications were filed on April 29, the company said in a notice last week, ending the pre-filing process for MXP. Within 90 days of the notice, CPGX said, the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission would either complete its environmental assessments for the project, or indicate when they would be complete or when a final environmental impact statement would be issued.

MXP would provide 2.7 Bcf/d of firm transportation service from the Marcellus and Utica shales in West Virginia to markets on the Columbia Gas Transmission system. CPGX wants to construct about 170 miles of pipeline, modify three existing compressor stations and install auxiliary facilities in West Virginia for MXP. The project would cost more than $2 billion to complete, CPGX said in its notice.

GXP would provide an additional 860 MMcf/d of firm transportation on the Columbia Gulf Transmission system. The company wants to construct seven new midpoint compressor stations in Kentucky, Tennessee and Mississippi. The expansion would cost $674 million.

CPGX has said the projects would enter service in 4Q2018 (see Daily GPI, June 24, 2015).

After it split from NiSource Inc. into a separately traded public company last year, the company detailed more than a dozen liquified natural gas, midstream and interstate pipeline expansion/newbuild projects that it said would cost more than $10 billion over the next five years (see Shale Daily, May 15, 2015). Most of those, management said at the time, would be completed in the Appalachian Basin.

TransCanada Corp. has since agreed to pay $13 billion to buy CPGX, which would give it an extensive pipeline and storage footprint in the Marcellus and Utica shales (see Daily GPI, March 17). CPGX said Monday that the Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States has completed its investigation of the proposed acquisition, finding no unresolved national security concerns related to the transaction.

The announcement satisfies one of the conditions to close the sale. CPGX and TransCanada said they continue to anticipate the deal will be completed by the second half of this year, pending other closing conditions, such as U.S. antitrust clearance and approval from CPGX stockholders. 

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