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Marcellus Shale Spawns Two Open Seasons

Texas Eastern Transmission LP (Tetco) and Iroquois Gas Transmission System LP each announced open seasons last week for projects that would target growing gas production in the Marcellus Shale.

As part of its project, Spectra Energy's Tetco said it will provide at least 150 MMcf/d of firm transportation capacity to an affiliate of Marcellus Shale producer Range Resources Corp. to deliver Appalachian gas to markets in the Northeast.

Tetco is proposing to increase system capacity by up to 300 MMcf/d beginning in the fourth quarter of 2012. The Texas Eastern Appalachia to Market Expansion (TEAM) Program is anchored by the agreement with Range, the pipeline said.

As of last month when it released third quarter earnings Range had drilled and completed 60 horizontal Marcellus Shale wells, of which 54 were online and producing more than 80 MMcf/d (see NGI, Oct. 26). Range, an early mover in the Marcellus, describes its progress as "taking a slow, disciplined approach...We expect cash flow and asset sales to fund our 2010 capital program," Range Chairman John H. Pinkerton said during an earnings conference call.

The pipeline is holding a binding open season through Dec. 1 for TEAM 2012. The project would target a capacity expansion of 300 MMcf/d, with an estimated fourth quarter 2012 in service. It would provide the opportunity to nominate transportation services from multiple existing and proposed receipt points on the Tetco system within the Appalachian and Marcellus Shale production regions to delivery points in Tetco's market area. For information, contact Bob Riga at (412) 928-3654 or Sean Foley at (617) 560-1359. Information also is at www.spectraenergy.com.

Tetco said it will hold another open season for the next TEAM Expansion Project to be announced later this month. TEAM 2013, with an estimated late 2013 in-service, would target a capacity expansion of 500 MMcf/d.

"With the Texas Eastern system traversing the Appalachian supply region, our expansions can be readily scaled and sized as production ramps up. In addition, our prime location in both the supply and market areas gives Spectra Energy the flexibility to offer more receipt and delivery options to customers," said Bill Yardley, group vice president, Spectra Energy Transmission, northeast.

The proposed TEAM expansions would utilize existing utility corridors and rights-of-way where possible, Tetco said.

Iroquois is holding a nonbinding open season through Jan. 29 for its NYMarc project, which would connect Marcellus supplies to New York, New England and eastern Canadian gas markets, the company said last week.

The NYMarc project would interconnect with both Tennessee Gas Pipeline in Sussex County, NJ, and Millennium Pipeline in Orange County, NY, and follow a northeasterly route of about 66 miles before tying into Iroquois' mainline in Pleasant Valley, NY. The project would provide producers in the Marcellus Shale access to Iroquois' existing marketplace and the opportunity to supply more than 1 Bcf/d of Northeast market demand, Iroquois said. NYMarc would also give Marcellus producers the opportunity to supply markets in Eastern Canada as well as New York City through Iroquois' existing system.

"As development of the Marcellus Shale continues, one of the pivotal issues facing producers will be optimization of capital investment in transportation infrastructure out of the basin so as to create the greatest value for the gas that they are producing," said Scott Rupff, Iroquois vice president of marketing, development and commercial operations. "Iroquois' NYMarc project will provide producers with access to one of the highest-priced markets in North America while benefiting Iroquois' existing customer base by augmenting their current access to the Western Canadian Sedimentary Basin and Dawn, ON, Hub."

NYMarc is targeted for service as early as Nov. 1, 2014. Information on NYMarc and the open season is at www.iroquois.com.

Tetco and Iroquois are not alone in targeting the region's growing production. In September Dominion said it would serve the Appalachian Basin with a pipeline project to carry production from West Virginia and southwestern Pennsylvania to storage fields and pipelines in Pennsylvania (see NGI, Oct. 5).

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