FERC Wednesday approved Transcontinental Gas Pipe Line’s (Transco) request to place into service the third and final pipeline loop of its major Northeast Supply Link project, and to begin partial service for project shippers to transport Marcellus Shale gas to growing markets in Pennsylvania, New York and New Jersey.

The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) approved service on the 36-inch diameter Caldwell Replacement Project and Muncy Loop in Essex County, NJ, and Lycoming County, PA, respectively. Moreover, in response to requests from Northeast Supply Link shippers that Transco begin providing service under the project as quickly as possible, the Commission approved delivery of 100,000 Dth/d of incremental firm transportation service to the project shippers [CP12-30].

That is 40% of the total incremental firm capacity of 250,000 Dth/d to be created by the Northeast Supply Link project. Transcodid not respond to NGI‘s inquiry about when the remaining 150,000 Dth/d of the project’s incremental capacity would come online. According to a FERC spokeswoman, Transco still is constructing portions of the expansion, including metering facilities in Richmond County, NY.

In July, the Commission approved requests to place into service two other loop expansions that are part of the Northeast Supply Link project — the Palmerton Loop in Monroe County, PA and the Stanton Loop in Hunterdon, NJ — but neither is providing incremental gas volumes (see Shale Daily, July 15). “Even though gas is flowing through these two pipeline segments, the additional volumes certificated under the project have not begun flowing,” the pipeline told FERC in its request to start service on the Muncy Loop.

The entire project is scheduled for in-service in November. It will provide incremental firm capacity from supply interconnections on Transco’s Leidy Line in Pennsylvania to its 210 Market Pool in New Jersey and the Manhattan, Central Manhattan and Narrows delivery points in New York City.

The Northeast Supply Link project, which Transco estimates will cost $341 million, includes 13 miles of incremental looping in Pennsylvania and New Jersey as part of the expansion of the pipeline. In addition to the loop facilities, the Transco project also includes a 25,000 hp electric motor-driven compressor station and substation in Essex County, NJ, (Station 303); and a 16,000 hp natural gas turbine-driven compressor unit at its existing Compressor Station No. 515 in Luzerne County. The project was approved by FERC last year (see Shale Daily, Nov. 6, 2012).

Transco’s Northeast Supply project is fully subscribed to four shippers: Williams Gas Marketing Inc. (135,000 Dth/d), Anadarko Energy Services (67,500 Dth/d), MMGS Inc. (32,500 Dth/d) and Hess Corp. (15,000 Dth/d).

Despite gains in pipeline capacity additions, the greater New York metropolitan area, and especially New England markets, still experience frequent constraints.

Transco, which extends from South Texas to New York City, has the ability to deliver as much as 9.8 Bcf/d to its market areas in the Southeast, Mid-Atlantic and Northeast states, Williams said.