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With More to Review, FERC Delays Mountaineer, Gulf XPress EIS

The final environmental impact statements (EIS) for TransCanada Corp.'s Mountaineer XPress (MXP) and Gulf XPress (GXP) pipeline projects will be delayed three months, FERC said in a notice of revised schedule this week.

The final EIS for those projects was originally scheduled for April 28, 2017. But the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) said recently filed reroutes and additional environmental information have required it to reopen a scoping period that pushes the EIS to July 28, 2017. A draft EIS is expected in February, and if the EIS is issued in July, the authorization deadline for the projects would be Oct. 26, 2017.

TransCanada acquired Columbia Pipeline Group Inc. in July. Columbia filed applications with FERC in April to construct and operate MXP and GXP. Both would increase Appalachian takeaway capacity.

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. The project would include installing 165 miles of pipeline, three new compressor stations, modifications to three existing compressor stations and one regulating station. It is expected to cost more than $2 billion to complete.

GXP would provide an additional 875 MMcf/d of firm transportation on the Columbia Gulf Transmission system, allowing more gas to move from Appalachia to southern markets. The project would include building seven new midpoint compressor stations in Kentucky, Tennessee and Mississippi and cost $674 million.

TransCanada said it remains committed to completing the projects on schedule and is still targeting an in-service date of 4Q2018 for both. 

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