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FERC Clears NFG's Northern Access 2015 Project to Begin Service

National Fuel Gas Supply's (NFG) Northern Access 2015 Project, a 97-mile pipeline in Pennsylvania and New York designed to expand deliverability of Marcellus Shale gas to the northeastern United States and Canada, has been authorized by FERC to be placed into service.

In a letter to NFG Tuesday, the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission said the Williamsville, NY-based company "has adequately stabilized areas disturbed by construction and that restoration is proceeding satisfactorily." NFG asked earlier this month for authorization to place the project into service and to provide interim firm transportation service to Tennessee Gas Pipeline (TGP).

The authorization comes nearly nine months after FERC approved the project [CP14-100] (see Shale DailyMarch 3). At the same time, the Commission approved TGP's Niagara Expansion Project [CP14-88], which would work in conjunction with the NFG project to move Marcellus gas to broader markets.

NFG's Northern Access 2015 Project would add compression and other facilities, expanding capacity. NFG secured contracts for all the available transport capacity on its Northern Access 2015 and Westside expansion and modernization pipeline projects in late 2013 (see Shale DailyDec. 20, 2013).

TGP's Niagara Expansion Project would enable it to provide up to 158,000 Dth/d of incremental firm transportation service for Seneca Resources Corp., moving gas from receipt points in Mercer and Elk counties in Pennsylvania to an interconnection with TransCanada Pipeline at Niagara Falls, NY. TGP would utilize capacity on its 200 and 300 Line systems and leased capacity from NFG. At the time of the application, the project had a scheduled in-service date of Nov. 1.

The facilities authorized by FERC to enter service Tuesday will allow NFG to provide 140,000 Dth/d of leased capacity to TGP from NFG's Ellisburg compressor station in Potter County, PA, to the Hamburg interconnect with TGP at Erie County, NY.

While the majority of the project's facilities are ready for in-service, compressor units at the Hinsdale compressor station in Cattaraugus County, NY, are not finished, according to NFG's request to FERC. "As a result, Tennessee has expressed a desire that National Fuel provide it with interim firm transportation service from the available project facilities in the amount of 40,000 Dth/d until the date that all of the project facilities are available and placed into service and leased to Tennessee. The rate for such interim firm transportation will be National Fuel's maximum firm transportation rate."

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