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CGT Seeks Regulatory Approval for Pair of Marcellus Projects

Columbia Gas Transmission Corp. (CGT), a NiSource Inc. subsidiary, has applied for FERC approval of a pair of projects designed to collectively increase the company's transportation capacity out of the Marcellus Shale by an additional 444,000 Dth/d.

The first proposal has CGT seeking Federal Energy Regulatory Commission approval for an $81.8 million endeavor also known as the Smithfield III Expansion Project (Docket No. CP13-477). The company listed Rice Drilling B LLC and Antero Resources Appalachian Corp. as anchor shippers.

The project calls for CGT to build a 9,400 hp compressor station, Redd Farm, in Washington County, PA. The company also plans to install additional compressor units totaling 15,600 hp at its Glenville station in Gilmer County, WV, and install new piping, control systems and other appurtenant facilities at its Smithfield station in Wetzel County, WV, and its Clendenin station in Kanawha County, WV.

"The primary purpose of [Smithfield III] is to construct facilities required to provide increased firm capacity for the transportation of natural gas located proximate to [our] existing pipeline facilities," CGT said in its FERC filing last week. "Significant quantities of natural gas are already available in the same geographic area, but due to the current physical limitations on interstate pipeline capacity, additional gas that is presently available for consumption cannot be delivered to interstate markets by the customers.

"Construction of the proposed facilities will enable [us] to increase capacity on [our] pipeline system and permit the pent-up supply to be transported to waiting markets."

CGT's second proposal is for its Line 1570 Project (Docket No. CP13-477), which it estimates will cost $121.7 million. The company is seeking FERC approval to replace a 20-inch high-pressure, bare steel pipeline installed with a 24-inch diameter pipeline. The original line dates to 1947 and runs between Redd Farm and the company's Waynesburg compressor station in Greene County, PA. The company also plans to replace and expand Waynesburg to 3,240-hp.

"The proposed construction will serve the dual purpose of meeting a goal of [our] ongoing modernization program by replacing bare steel, high-pressure pipeline, as well as increase capacity on [our] pipeline system to enable transportation of gas required by Columbia's customers," CGT said in its second filing.

CGT requested that FERC approve both projects by Dec. 1 so that the company may complete tree-clearing activities by April 1, 2014. New time clearing restrictions from the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service take effect on that date.

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