FERC Staff will prepare an environmental impact statement (EIS) for Columbia Pipeline Group's (CPGX) Gulf XPress (GXP) pipeline project, which would provide additional takeaway capacity from the Appalachian Basin.

Federal Energy Regulatory Commission notice of intent to prepare an EIS comes just over a month after CPGX filed applications to construct and operate GXP and the Mountaineer XPress (MXP) pipeline projects (see Daily GPIMay 16). CPGX has said the projects would enter service in 4Q2018 (see Daily GPIJune 24, 2015).

GXP would provide an additional 860 MMcf/d of firm transportation on the Columbia Gulf Transmission system. The company wants to construct seven new midpoint compressor stations in Kentucky, Tennessee and Mississippi. The expansion would cost $674 million.

"The proposed facilities will offer shippers the opportunity to transport natural gas to high demand Gulf Coast markets, and other markets in Mississippi and Louisiana, that are accessible through points of delivery on the Columbia Gulf transmission pipeline system, as well as markets accessible from other interstate natural gas pipelines connected to the Columbia Gulf system," CPGX said in its initial GXP filing.

The project would facilitate compression of gas received in Boyd County, KY, for transportation to delivery points at CPGX's Mainline Pool in Humphreys County, MS; CPGX's Rayne Station in Acadia Parish, LA; Transco's Evangeline Station in Evangeline Parish, LA; Florida Natural Gas Lafayette Station in Lafayette Parish, LA; and Southern Natural Gas Shadyside Station in Saint Mary Parish, LA.

MXP would provide 2.7 Bcf/d of firm transportation service from the Marcellus and Utica shales in West Virginia to markets on the Columbia Gas Transmission system. CPGX wants to construct about 170 miles of pipeline, modify three existing compressor stations and install auxiliary facilities in West Virginia for MXP. The project would cost more than $2 billion to complete, CPGX said in its notice.

FERC will accept comments on the proposed EIS through July 5.