FERC has approved Texas Eastern Transmission LP’s request to construct and operate the Ohio Pipeline Energy Network (OPEN) project, which would carry Marcellus/Utica shale gas to Gulf Coast markets and other markets using interconnections with downstream pipelines.

This week the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission issued a certificate of public convenience and necessity for the project, which Texas Eastern has estimated will cost about $468.5 million.

The project would add 75.8 miles of 30-inch diameter pipeline crossing portions of Ohio counties Columbiana, Carroll, Jefferson, Belmont and Monroe. It also includes a new 18,800 hp compressor station in Belmont County. Texas Eastern, a unit of Spectra Energy Partners, filed for the project earlier this year (see Daily GPI, Feb. 4). It is designed to provide 275,000 Dth/d of incremental transportation service from eastern Ohio to the Egan Hub Storage LLC facilities and 275,000 Dth/d of incremental transportation service from eastern Ohio to the eastern boundary of the Gillis Compressor Station in Louisiana.

Texas Eastern held open seasons in April 2012 and October 2013, and executed binding precedent agreements with four shippers for 100% of the firm transportation service to be made possible by the project: Chesapeake Energy Marketing Inc. (350,000 Dth/d), Rice Drilling B LLC (50,000 Dth/d), CNX Gas Co. LLC (50,000 Dth/d), and Total Gas & Power North America Inc. (100,000 Dth/d). The shippers have agreed to pay negotiated rates for primary terms of 15 or 20 years, FERC said.

The pipeline had asked FERC to grant authorization for the project by Dec. 5 in order that the facilities may be in service by Nov. 1, 2015.

FERC staff issued a favorable environmental assessment for the OPEN project in August (see Daily GPI, Aug. 25).