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FERC OKs Partial Service on National Fuel's West Side Expansion

FERC has authorized a National Fuel Gas Co. (NFG) subsidiary to begin partial service two months before the anticipated in-service date for Range Resources Corp. in Pennsylvania on its West Side Expansion and Modernization Project.

NFG had asked the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission last month for authority to place into service for Range by Tuesday (Sept. 1) a 3,550 hp compressor at its Mercer County station and a modified compressor at its Henderson station in Venango County (see Daily GPI, Aug. 26). The authorized partial service would provide Range with 10,000 Dth/d, said NFG spokeswoman Carly Manino.

The $76.1 million project would ultimately increase incremental capacity on NFG's Line N pipeline system in Washington, Allegheny, Beaver, Venango and Mercer counties by 175,000 Dth/d.

The project includes replacing 23 miles of 20-inch diameter pipeline with 24-inch diameter pipe. The 73-mile Line N was originally constructed in 1947, and the company replaced 50 miles of the system in 2012. NFG filed with FERC to modernize the remaining pipe in February 2014, requesting a certificate of public convenience and necessity so it could begin full service by Nov. 1. The certificate was issued in March, which is also when construction started. Manino said the company has informed customers that it’s now aiming for a full in-service date of early October.

Range has subscribed for 145,000 Dth/d of firm transportation, while NFG exploration and production subsidiary Seneca Resources Corp. subscribed for 30,000 Dth/d. Line N has interconnections with Texas Eastern Transmission and the Tennessee Gas Pipeline.

In a bi-weekly progress report filed Aug. 20, NFG said about 56% of the new pipeline has been installed and about half of its backfilling is completed. Once completed, Line N would have a capacity of 633,000 Dth/d.

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