The Marcellus Shale is the eastern United States' new natural gas supply source of choice, and Williams is in the process of developing a new pipeline to connect supply with market via Williams' existing Transcontinental Gas Pipe Line (Transco).
Williams is developing a 260-mile pipeline called the Atlantic Access Project, which would help to carry more than 1 Bcf/d of Appalachian gas supply to eastern markets along the Atlantic Seaboard by late 2014.
"The Atlantic Access Project is an expansion of Transco's existing natural gas transmission system that will enable Transco to provide a total of 1,350,000 Dth/d of new firm transportation capacity from receipt points in West Virginia and Pennsylvania to Transco's interconnection with Elba Express Co. LLC in Anderson County, SC, and from the existing Rivervale, NJ, receipt point to Transco's Station 195 in York County, PA," Williams told the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission in a request for pre-filing review of the project.
Elba Express is a Southern Natural Gas Co. (Southern) interstate that runs from an interconnect with Southern near Port Wentworth, GA, accessing the Elba Island liquefied natural gas (LNG) receiving terminal, to interconnects with Transco on the east and west sides of the Savannah River in Anderson County, SC, and Hart County, GA. It was placed in service in March 2010.
"Transco serves local distribution companies, power generators, municipalities and end-users in the markets accessed by the [Atlantic Access] project," Transco's Tom Compson, director of marketing services, told NGI's Shale Daily. "Natural gas demand in the states included in Transco's Zones 5 and 6 is projected to grow by over 1.8 Bcf/d by 2020, according to the latest projections by Wood Mackenzie."
Atlantic Access would begin near the rich gas/lean gas border that bisects the Marcellus Shale through northwestern Pennsylvania (see map) and would offer blending capabilities to handle rich gas.
According to a discussion document for the project, Transco's tariff allows it to accept out-of-spec gas. "This flexibility provides for significant gas blending on Atlantic Access -- potentially as much as 65,000 bbl," it said. "The expectation is that the heavy liquids would be processed prior to entering Transco's system and that only ethane remains as an issue."
Interconnections are planned with several processing plants and other pipelines along the route of the new pipeline, including Columbia Gas Transmission, Dominion Transmission, EQT and National Fuel as well as Williams Midstream's proposed Confluence pipeline, Compson said.
Williams Midstream's Confluence is still in preliminary stages, Compson said. Atlantic Access is not dependent upon Confluence proceeding as it has been designed to connect with other inter- and intrastate pipes in southwestern Pennsylvania that currently exist or are in the process of being built, he added.
In addition to the interconnection with Elba Express, Transco has an existing interconnection in Zone 5 with Dominion's Cove Point pipeline, so gas could also be delivered to either of the LNG facilities located on these pipelines.
Atlantic Access is but one of Williams' projects targeting the Marcellus (see Shale Daily, Nov. 3).