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Operators Open Valves on 1.8 Bcf/d of Marcellus Capacity

As expected, pipeline operators opened the taps on four projects to alleviate bottleneck constraints by providing more takeaway capacity from the gas-rich Marcellus Shale to markets in the Northeast, adding a total of 1.8 Bcf/d of capacity.

Spectra Energy Corp. placed into service Friday its New Jersey-New York Expansion Project on its Texas Eastern Transmission Co. and Algonquin Gas Transmission systems. The expansion adds 800 MMcf/d of capacity to serve the region.

And Tennessee Gas Pipeline Co. (TGP), a unit of Kinder Morgan Energy Partners LP, placed the fully subscribed Northeast Upgrade Project in service. The $500 million project boosts capacity on TGP's 300 Line system in Pennsylvania and New Jersey by 636 MMcf/d. TGP also placed into service its $65 million Marcellus Pooling Point project. The fully subscribed project provides about 240 MMcf/d of additional firm Marcellus transportation capacity on TGP's pipeline system in Pennsylvania.

"We've built the first natural gas pipeline into Manhattan in more than 40 years, one that will supply the region with safe, affordable, clean, domestic natural gas," said Spectra CEO Greg Ebel.

The Spectra project cost $1.2 billion and included about 20 miles of new pipeline (including about five miles of replacement pipeline); new meter and regulating stations; and modifications to existing facilities (see Shale Daily, Oct. 30). Construction included drilling nine tunnels to route the pipe under rivers and streets, one of which holds the industry record for the longest 30-inch horizontal directional drill in North America (the crossing at the Kill Van Kull) at just over 8,100 feet.

"Customers in the region could save $700 million in energy costs each year while also replacing fuel oil with domestic and cleaner-burning natural gas," said Spectra's Bill Yardley, president of U.S. transmission and storage. "We've invested the past five years speaking with stakeholders and officials, planning and re-planning, designing and constructing this pipeline, all to ensure it was completed safely, efficiently and to the highest standards."

Also on Friday morning, Williams' Transcontinental Gas Pipe Line placed into service the second phase of its Northeast Supply Link, adding 125 MMcf/d of capacity to the first 125 MMcf/d phase, which entered service in August (see Shale Daily, Aug. 16).

The pipelines did not provide details on the volumes of gas initially flowing on their respective expansions.

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