Williams Partners LP is holding an open season through April 2 for the remaining capacity on its 260-mile Atlantic Access Project, a pipeline that would carry more than 1 Bcf/d of Appalachian gas supply to eastern markets along the Atlantic Seaboard by late 2014.

The partnership already has a binding precedent agreement from a shipper for half of the project's anticipated initial capacity of 1.8 million Dth/d. The pipeline would connect Marcellus and Utica shale supply in western West Virginia and Pennsylvania to markets via Williams' existing Transcontinental Gas Pipe Line (Transco).

"The Atlantic Access project would serve as a vital connection, creating a direct link from the burgeoning Appalachian supply basin to diverse, growing natural gas markets and storage facilities from the Gulf Coast to the Northeast," said Randy Barnard, president of Williams' interstate gas pipeline business.

In a request for pre-filing review of the project filed with the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission in December, Williams said the project would enable Transco to move natural gas through about 350 miles of new pipe from receipt points in Marshall County, WV and Butler County, PA to connect to Transco's Station 195 in York County, PA (see Shale Daily, Dec. 23, 2011). The plan calls for additional equipment for the Transco mainline, including compression to facilitate bi-directional flow.

Customers subscribing to capacity on the project can choose from three separate paths originating from Marshall County, Butler County or Bergen County, NJ; each of the paths would transport gas to the existing Transco system and then southward to all points on the mainline to a connection with Elba Express Co. LLC in Anderson County, SC, and terminating in Transco rate zone 3 in Beauregard Parish, LA.

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 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 into service in March 2010.

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.

For information on the open season, contact Gary Duvall at (713) 215-2589.

The capacity, scope and cost of the Atlantic Access project will be shaped by the results of the open season.