Columbia Gas Transmission (CGT) is seeking authorization from FERC to place into service portions of its Mountaineer XPress project, which would increase natural gas pipeline capacity out of the Appalachian Basin by expanding the TransCanada Corp. affiliate's system.

Mountaineer XPress would add 164.5 miles of new 36-inch diameter pipe and 6 miles of new 24-inch diameter pipe to expand Columbia Gas Transmission LLC's system in West Virginia [CP16-357]. The project would also include three new compressor stations located in Doddridge, Calhoun and Jackson counties, WV; two new regulating stations located in Jackson and Cabell counties; and various other facilities, upgrades and replacements.

When completed, Mountaineer XPress would add about 2.7 Bcf/d of capacity to the Columbia Gas system and is designed to allow additional volumes of Marcellus and Utica shale gas to reach markets in the Midwest, Northeast, South and Gulf Coast.

In a Federal Energy Regulatory Commission filing Wednesday, CGT asked for authorization by Dec. 31 to place into service 113 miles of 36-inch diameter pipeline stretching across nine West Virginia counties between mileposts 51.1 and 163.9, along with six miles of 24-inch diameter pipeline in Doddridge County, WV, a compressor station and other associated facilities.

"The facilities subject to this request will allow Columbia to provide open access firm transportation service on approximately 700,000 Dth/d of firm capacity," and approving the request by year end will allow the company "will increase the available supply of natural gas during the peak winter heating season," CGT said. The 700,000 Dth/d would go to anchor shipper Antero Resources Corp., according to the filing.

The request comes nearly a year after FERC issued a certificate of public convenience and necessity for the Mountaineer XPress project.

Two months ago, FERC issued letter orders to advance Mountaineer XPress and two other natural gas pipeline projects in the Appalachian Basin -- the Rover Pipeline Project [CP15-93] and the Supply Header Project [CP15-555].