Northeast Pennsylvania producers could soon have a new major takeaway route to work with as Transcontinental Gas Pipe Line Co. LLC (Transco) has asked FERC for authorization to begin full service on its 1.7 million Dth/d Atlantic Sunrise expansion by Sept. 10.
In a Federal Energy Regulatory Commission filing Friday, Transco said the remaining portions of its 200-mile project are wrapping up construction and will be ready for service early next month, including the greenfield 30-inch diameter Central Penn Line North and 42-inch diameter Central Penn Line South segments; the Chapman and Unity Loops on Transco’s Leidy Line; and the greenfield Compressor Station 605 (30,000 hp) and Compressor Station 610 (40,000 hp).
Transco is also already ready to place around 62,000 hp of additional compression online across three existing stations in Pennsylvania and Maryland, along with two new meter stations and various other facilities and modifications related to the project, the operator told FERC.
Transco previously added interim service associated with the completion of brownfield portions of the project, including an incremental 400,000 Dth/d that came online last August, and another 150,000 Dth/d approved to enter service in May.
Atlantic Sunrise would create an additional path for constrained gas in northeast Pennsylvania to reach markets in the Mid-Atlantic and Southeast via the Transco mainline that runs along the Atlantic seaboard. The project could provide a key capacity upgrade for Transco’s Zone 5 and Zone 6 market areas in time for the 2018/19 winter, helping to address the constraints that sent spot prices skyrocketing this past January.
Analysts with Genscape Inc. told NGI’s Shale Daily earlier this month that Atlantic Sunrise should help debottleneck northeast Pennsylvania production by reducing congestion on Transco’s Leidy Line path.
“Atlantic Sunrise can flow either north or south once it hits Transco near Station 195, so it can bolster both Zone 6 and Zone 5, if needed,” according to Genscape analysts Josh Garcia and Colette Breshears. “This winter, both Zone 5 and Zone 6 should be in a better place to meet their respective demand. Zone 5 can now bypass the Transco Station 515-to-505 route, leaving that path to service Zone 6. When the new greenfield pipe comes into service, it will also bring in a significant uptick in production, around 0.5 Bcf/d.”
FERC issued a certificate to Atlantic Sunrise in February 2017, and the project began greenfield construction late last year.
Restoration and final clean up for the Central Penn Line North and South segments and for the Unity and Chapman loops has been “constrained by adverse weather conditions throughout the spring and summer months,” including up to 20-30 inches of rain in some areas, Transco told FERC. The operator provided details on its plan to complete the remaining restoration, including 19 “dedicated cleanup crews and restoration crews” mobilized by its contractors.
Between Atlantic Sunrise and other recent expansions, including the start-up of two additional supply laterals on the Rover Pipeline Project, Marcellus and Utica shale producers will have more options to get their gas to market this winter.
Transco, a wholly owned subsidiary of The Williams Companies, Inc., has binding precedent agreements with nine shippers for the Atlantic Sunrise project, with Cabot Oil & Gas Corp. (1 Bcf/d), Chief Oil & Gas LLC (420 MMcf/d) and Seneca Resources Corp. (190 MMcf/d) contracting for the highest volumes.