FERC Thursday issued a favorable environmental assessment (EA) of Dominion Transmission Inc.’s Appalachian Gateway Project, which would provide additional capacity to deliver a mix of southwestern Pennsylvania Marcellus Shale gas and West Virginia conventional gas to market.

“Approval of the proposed project, with appropriate mitigating measures, would not constitute a major federal action significantly affecting the quality of the human environment,” the staff of the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) said in the EA [CP10-448].

“Conventional production of natural gas is increasing in the Appalachian region of West Virginia and Pennsylvania. The region is also experiencing a strong emergence of non-conventional production from coalbed methane and Marcellus Shale gas. This production growth and new supplies from other regions, like the Rockies, are competing for gas pipeline capacity within the Appalachian region,” said Dominion Transmission, a subsidiary of Richmond, VA-based Dominion Resources.

The project calls for the construction of about 110 miles of 20-, 24- and 30-inch diameter pipeline between West Virginia and Pennsylvania, as well as four compressor stations, adding about 17,000 hp. It would enable Dominion Transmission to transport an additional 484,260 Dth/d of gas to markets in the Mid-Atlantic and northeastern United States.

The pipeline would deliver the gas to an interconnect with Texas Eastern Transmission at Oakford in Delmont, PA. Construction is expected to get under way this year, with in-service targeted for September 2012, according to Dominion Transmission.

Dominion Transmission operates one of the largest underground natural gas storage systems in the United States with links to other major pipelines and to markets in the Midwest, Mid-Atlantic and Northeast. It maintains 7,800 miles of pipeline in six states: Ohio, West Virginia, Pennsylvania, New York, Maryland and Virginia.

Dominion Transmission also is a producer and supplier of natural gas liquids at an extraction/fractionation plant in West Virginia, and it is interconnected via pipeline with Dominion Cove Point LNG, one of the nation’s largest liquefied natural gas import facilities, in Maryland.

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