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FERC Grants Columbia Permission to Begin Service on Utica Access

FERC has granted Columbia Gas Transmission LLC permission to bring online the Utica Access Project, a short lateral natural gas pipeline in West Virginia.

In a notice last Thursday, the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission said Columbia had satisfied the environmental conditions outlined in the certificate of public convenience and necessity it issued for the $45 million project last December [CP15-87] (see Daily GPIJan. 8). Columbia had filed for approval nearly one year earlier (see Daily GPI, Feb. 12, 2015).

FERC's Rich McGuire, director of the Division of Gas-Environment and Engineering, said based upon inspections conducted, "rehabilitation and stabilization of the construction work areas for these facilities are proceeding satisfactorily and in compliance with the terms of the order."

Utica Access includes about 4.8 miles of 24-inch diameter lateral pipeline from a new interconnect with Dominion Transmission Inc.'s Cornwell Compressor Station near Corton, to Columbia's existing Line X52-M1 near Clendenin. The pipeline, which traverses Clay and Kanawha counties, would provide 205,000 Dth/d of firm transportation service and enable Columbia to receive gas from Dominion's system and transport it to existing Columbia mainline facilities.

The transportation service to be provided by Utica Access includes upstream service on Dominion's system, according to the FERC order authorizing Dominion's Monroe to Cornwell project [CP15-7]. Last week, Dominion asked FERC to grant authorization to enter that project into service by Oct. 13.

According to a bi-weekly status report Columbia filed on Sept. 26, Utica Access has been hydrotested and 75-80% of its right-of-way hydroseeded. Hydroseeding is scheduled to continue and be completed over the next two weeks, although Columbia said dry conditions may require re-seeding in a few areas.

Columbia transports an average of 3 Bcf/d through a nearly 12,000-mile pipeline network, including 92 compressor stations in 10 states. The Columbia Pipeline Group Inc. subsidiary was acquired by TransCanada Corp. in a $13 billion deal last July (see Daily GPIJuly 5).

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