With natural gas production continuing to ramp up in the Appalachian supply basin of southern West Virginia and eastern Kentucky, NiSource’s Columbia Gas Transmission Corp. (TCO) said last Tuesday that it has filed a $40 million infrastructure expansion plan with FERC that will increase its ability to deliver natural gas from the region.

In the Appalachian expansion project TCO proposes to build a 9,470 hp compressor station along its existing pipeline system in Lincoln County, WV, enabling it to transport an incremental 100,000 Dth/d. In its filing with the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC), the company noted that construction of the station will create additional firm transportation capacity that will reduce current restraints on the system and allow significantly more Appalachian production to reach markets. The project is expected to be in-service the fourth quarter of 2009, assuming FERC authorizes construction.

As a result of an open season to gauge shipper interest in firm transportation on its Appalachian system, CNX Gas Co. LLC, Equitable Production Co. and Chesapeake Appalachian LLC negotiated 15-year service agreements with TCO.

“This is a great project which shows Columbia Gas Transmission’s continuing commitment to investment in infrastructure in the Appalachian Basin and across its entire pipeline and storage network,” said Chris Helms, president of NiSource Gas Transmission & Storage (NGT&S). “This project will significantly increase the amount of gas our Appalachian producer customers can move to valuable downstream markets.

“The Appalachian expansion is part of more than $1 billion in growth projects that NGT&S business units have either under construction or pending regulatory approvals to increase deliveries across to Mid-Atlantic and Northeast markets as well as throughout the Gulf Coast,” Helms noted. “NiSource Gas Transmission & Storage is making significant investments in new energy infrastructure.”

Helms noted that NGT&S’s other growth projects that are currently under way include Millennium Pipeline (see NGI, Sept. 10, 2007), Hardy Storage (see NGI, April 9, 2007) and the Eastern Market Expansion.

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