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FERC Says Start-Up of Northeast Upgrade Project Nov. 1

The anticipated in-service date for Tennessee Gas Pipeline's (TGP) Line 300 Northeast Upgrade expansion, which would add 636,000 Dth/d of takeaway capacity from the Marcellus Shale, remains Nov. 1, although FERC has approved a delay until May 1, 2014 for the start-up of some facilities.

TGP "is planning to place certificated, completed project components (pipeline loops, compressor stations) and temporary facilities at the Mahwah Meter Station [in New Jersey] in service on that date (Nov. 1) to serve the full project capacity of 636,000 Dth/d to the two project shippers," Chesapeake Energy Marketing Inc. (429,300 Dth/d) and Statoil Natural Gas LLC (206,700) under contract terms of at least 20 years, the pipeline said in an e-mail.

Tennessee spokesman Richard Wheatley told Shale Daily that the pipeline requested the extension for portions of the project "based on permitting issues that are outstanding."

TGP has filed with the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) for variance approval of temporary facilities to enable the Nov. 1 start-up. The pipeline said it would remove the temporary facilities from service when the certificated Mahwah Meter Station facilities are completed.

FERC Tuesday approved TGP's request for an extension of the in-service date for the certificated Mahwah Meter Station facilities until next May.

"We anticipate that we will be able to complete and place the certificated facilities in-service" by then, TGP said.

Initially the pipeline, a Kinder Morgan subsidiary, was to place the project in service by May 29 this year but it sought an extension from the Commission to move the in-service date to Nov. 1 to coincide with the terms of the precedent agreements of two project shippers.

The project, which FERC approved in mid-2012, will allow the additional Marcellus gas supplies to be transported along Tennessee's 300 Line to an interconnect with Algonquin Gas Transmission in Mahwah to serve growing markets in the Northeast (see Shale DailyMay 31, 2012). To create the additional firm transportation capacity, Tennessee plans to upgrade the remaining 24-inch diameter parts of the 300 Line by constructing five 30-inch diameter pipeline loops and modifying four existing compression stations.

 TGP recently asked FERC for authorization to put another expansion project, Loop 313, part of TGP's MPP project, into service by Sept. 23. That addition is a 7.9-mile, 30-inch diameter looping segment of Line 300 enable 0.23 Bcf/d of additional Marcellus Shale gas to reach the Northeast. Firm customers on this expansion are Southwestern Energy Services Co. (100,000 Dth/d) and Chesapeake (140,000 Dth/d) (see Shale DailySept. 17).

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