Williams unit Transcontinental Gas Pipe Line Corp. (Transco) last week revealed another potential piece of pipeline infrastructure that could ultimately help transport bountiful Rockies gas supplies to gas-needy northeastern markets.

Transco is holding an open season through Nov. 5 for an expansion of its Transco pipeline system to serve markets in the Northeast by November 2010. The Northeast Connector Expansion would create incremental firm capacity from an interconnection with Williams’ proposed Rockies Connector Pipeline near Transco’s Station 195 in southeastern Pennsylvania to delivery points in Transco’s Zone Six in the northeastern United States. Williams said it will determine the capacity, scope and cost of the expansion based on the results of the open season.

Williams’ proposed Rockies Connector Pipeline would extend approximately 250 miles, connecting its Transco Station 195 in York County, PA, to the eastern terminus of the Rockies Express pipeline (REX), which is being developed by a consortium of third parties (see NGI, May 7). The nearly 1,700-mile REX originates in the Piceance Basin in Rio Blanco County, CO. An open season is currently under way for Rockies Connector (see NGI, Oct. 1).

“The Northeast Connector Expansion is the final link in the path to connect the Rocky Mountain supply basins to growing markets in the Northeast,” said Phil Wright, president of Williams’ natural gas pipeline business. “Incremental supplies at Station 195 from Rockies Connector combined with Transco’s existing infrastructure in the region provide the basis for an attractively priced expansion, sized and timed to meet market requirements. As such, assuming a successful open season for Rockies Connector, Williams is very interested in developing the Northeast Connector Expansion.”

A recent report by Golden, CO-based Bentek Energy LLC called for more east-bound capacity at the REX terminus (see NGI, Aug. 13).

Firm service under the Northeast Connector Expansion will be performed under Transco’s Rate Schedule FT and Part 284(G) of FERC regulations. Shippers will pay reservation and commodity rates under Transco’s Rate Schedule FT based on the incremental cost of service of the expansion facilities. As such, rates may be amended from time to time. In addition, all applicable maximum reservation and commodity surcharges and fuel applicable under Rate Schedule FT, as amended from time to time, will apply. Transco also will consider offering a negotiated reservation rate for firm service under the expansion.

Both Northeast Connector and Rockies Connector are subject to approval by the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC).

For customer inquiries, contact Nancy Hargrove at (713) 215-2926.

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