FERC has given Texas Eastern Transmission LP (Tetco) permission to launch part of its Ohio Pipeline Energy Network (OPEN) project into service early, after the company sent federal regulators several photos, including an aerial shot, to illustrate that it had started restoration activities at one of its compressor stations.

Specifically, the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission has given Tetco permission to place into service two of the six mainline facilities modifications being constructed to enable bi-directional flow.

On Monday, Tetco, a unit of Spectra Energy Partners LP, sent FERC supplemental information for the OPEN project [CP14-68], including an aerial photo and seven photos taken from the ground that show it has begun restoration activities at the Tompkinsville Compressor Station in Monroe County, KY. A letter that accompanied the photos said restoration efforts at Tompkinsville were 45% complete and should be done by Oct. 7.

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FERC’s Terry Turpin, director of the gas environment and engineering division, granted Tetco's request on Tuesday. "Based upon the construction status reports and photos provided...we find that the areas disturbed by construction at these facilities have been adequately stabilized and that restoration is proceeding satisfactorily," he wrote in a letter to Tetco.

The regulatory agency approved entering Tompkinsville and the Berne Compressor Station, which is in Monroe County, OH, into service. Tetco anticipates completing construction along the entire project in October with everything in service by Nov. 1.

The OPEN project is to have 550,000 Dth/d of transport capacity, and would flow from the Tetco mainline interconnects in southwest Pennsylvania, West Virginia and Ohio to delivery points along its system in Mississippi and Louisiana. The project calls for about 76 miles of new 30-inch diameter mainline pipeline and associated facilities across Ohio, with nearly half of the pipeline constructed either within or adjacent to existing transmission line or pipeline right-of-way.

Tetco has said that the project's four anchor shippers -- Chesapeake Energy Marketing Inc., Total Gas & Power North America, Rice Energy Marketing and CNX Gas Co. LLC -- wanted to see part of the OPEN project placed into service early. The four producers are deployed in the Marcellus and Utica shales (see Daily GPISept. 11)

The project received a favorable environmental assessment from FERC in August 2014, and was ultimately approved in December (see Daily GPI, Dec. 4, 2014; Aug. 25, 2014).