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FERC Begins Assessment of National Fuel Marcellus Pipeline

FERC staff has begun an environmental assessment (EA) of National Fuel Gas Co.'s Northern Access 2016 Project, a new 97-mile pipeline in Pennsylvania and New York designed to expand deliverability of Marcellus Shale gas to the northeastern United States as well as Canada.

The company's National Fuel Gas Supply Corp. (NFGSC) would construct a 24-inch diameter pipeline from Sergeant Township, McKean County, PA, to an interconnection with NFGSC's existing Line X-North, at or near the Porterville Compressor Station in the Town of Elma, Erie County, NY. It would add about 5,000 hp of compression at the Porterville station and construct an interconnection with Tennessee Gas Pipeline's 200 Line in the Town of Wales, Erie County, NY.

National Fuel unit Empire Pipeline Inc. would construct a 24-inch diameter pipeline segment of about four miles, replacing 3.3 miles of existing 16-inch diameter NFGSC pipeline and 0.7 miles of existing Empire pipeline in the towns of Wheatfield and Pendleton, Niagara County, NY. Empire would also construct a new 22,000 hp compressor station in the Town of Pendleton and a new natural gas dehydration facility in the Town of Wheatfield.

"The project is an expansion of NFGSC and Empire's existing natural gas transmission systems that will enable NFGSC and Empire to provide incremental firm transportation services to a shipper seeking to move Marcellus Shale production into the interstate pipeline grid," the company told the Commission in its July request for prefiling review. "These facilities will provide this and other shippers with access to markets in the northeastern U.S. and Canada through NFGSC's and Empire's existing interconnections including Empire's border interconnection with TransCanada Pipeline at Chippawa, as well as markets on the Tennessee Gas 200 Line. The project would create approximately 350,000 Dth/d of capacity to these market areas."

The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission said in its EA notice [PF14-18] that the scoping period for the assessment will close on Nov. 21. National Fuel said it plans to file a certificate application for the project by Feb. 27. The company is requesting certificate authority by mid-January 2016 to allow for an in-service date of Nov. 1, 2016.

Separately in March, NFGSC filed at FERC [CP14-100] for its Northern Access 2015 Project, which would add compression and other facilities, expanding capacity to serve the northeastern United States and Canada. The company said it expects to begin construction in March and have the project in service during November 2015.

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