Columbia Gas Transmission LLC has applied at FERC for a certificate for its Leach XPress project, which would add up to 1.53 million Dth/d of capacity to "more liquid markets" for gas from Appalachia.

"The proposed Leach XPress project will provide Columbia's transportation customers varying levels of capacity depending upon where natural gas is received," the pipeline told the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission [CP15-514]. Four shippers have signed up for 90% of the available capacity, according to Columbia, which added that affiliate Columbia Gulf Transmission LLC plans to apply this fall for a certificate for its proposed Rayne XPress capacity increase. The names of the shippers were not disclosed in the public version of the filing.

Leach XPress and Rayne XPress were announced last summer (see Shale DailyAug. 12, 2014) to serve shale gas producers. The prefiling process began in October.

"The development and subsequent deliverability from various shale plays in the Appalachian Basin has greatly outpaced the capability of the current natural gas infrastructure to transport these gas supplies to market," Columbia said in support of Leach XPress. "The proposed facilities will offer Leach XPress shippers the opportunity to access more liquid markets as a result of being connected to numerous markets and points of delivery on Columbia's reticulated pipeline system, including firm deliveries to TCO Pool." There would be an interconnection with Columbia Gulf near Leach, KY.

Leach XPress would include two greenfield pipeline segments; two new pipeline loops; abandonment in-place of a segment of one existing pipeline; three greenfield compressor stations; three new compressors at an existing station and abandonment of a  compressor; and various appurtenant and auxiliary facilities.

Columbia announced the project last year one day after ongoing capacity constraints in the Marcellus region rocked next-day natural gas prices (see Daily GPIAug. 11, 2014).