Williams Partners LP said shipper interest supports a portion of Transcontinental Gas Pipeline’s (Transco) Atlantic Access project: expansion of the Leidy Line in northern Pennsylvania by up to 800,000 Dth/d by late 2015. However, the remainder of the previously announced Atlantic Access project will have to wait.

While Atlantic Access had offered firm transportation options from various Marcellus Shale supply regions in Pennsylvania and West Virginia, a nonbinding open season for the project resulted in “strong interest” in expanding the Leidy Line, but other components of Atlantic Access, apparently not so much.

“…[O]ther portions of the project continue to be discussed with potential shippers for a later in-service date,” Williams Partners said.

The Leidy Southeast expansion project is designed to serve the growing needs of local gas distribution companies and electric power generators along the Atlantic Seaboard and throughout the southeastern United States. The company is finalizing shipper agreements and expects to initiate pre-filing with the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission in early 2013. The scope and cost of the project will be determined by shipper negotiations.

“Our Transco Leidy Line is strategically positioned through the heart of one of the most important natural gas production areas in the country,” said Randy Barnard, president of Williams Partners’ natural gas pipeline business. “This project also leverages Transco’s access to some of the fastest-growing markets in the country. Linking the supply to the demand could significantly expand the Leidy Line’s currently subscribed firm capacity of 1,700,000 Dth by up to 50%.”

The proposed Leidy Southeast expansion will provide firm transportation from various supply points along Transco’s Leidy Line to delivery points terminating at its Zone 4 Market Pool in Alabama, along its mainline system.

In February Williams Partners launched an open season for the remaining capacity on the 260-mile Atlantic Access Project, a pipeline that would carry more than 1 Bcf/d of Appalachian gas supply to eastern markets along the Atlantic Seaboard by late 2014. The partnership said it already had a binding precedent agreement from a shipper for half of the project’s anticipated initial capacity of 1.8 million Dth/d. The pipeline would connect Marcellus and Utica shale supply in western West Virginia and Pennsylvania to markets via Transco (see Shale Daily, Feb. 7).

The open season for Atlantic Access was later modified as a result of discussions with potential shippers (see Shale Daily, April 18). Transco increased the total firm transportation capacity, offering additional firm paths and revising the proposed in-service date to December 2015.

Williams owns 68% of Williams Partners, including the general partner interest.