FERC last Friday approved the Williams Leidy South natural gas pipeline project that would connect Marcellus/Utica shale supply to demand markets along the Atlantic Seaboard ahead of the 2021-2022 winter.

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The 582,400 Dth/d pipeline, an extension of the massive Transcontinental Gas Pipe Line system, aka Transco, would source gas produced by Cabot Oil & Gas Corp. and Seneca Resources Co. LLC. The project is to include six miles of large-diameter pipeline loop, two compressor stations and associated facilities in Pennsylvania’s Clinton, Columbia, Lycoming, Luzerne, Schuylkill and Wyoming counties.

Williams CEO Alan Armstrong said the project represents one of many opportunities to further reduce greenhouse gas emissions, noting that “there remain more than 80 coal plants in the states Transco serves that can potentially be displaced” by gas.

By maximizing the use of the existing Transco transmission corridor and expanding existing facilities in Pennsylvania, Leidy South would “substantially reduce” the amount of new infrastructure and land use required to meet these needs, minimizing community and environmental impact, Armstrong said.

“With the growing urgency to transition to a low-carbon fuel future, Williams and its natural gas-focused strategy provide a practical and immediate path to reduce industry emissions, support the viability of renewables and grow a clean energy economy,” the CEO said.Approval by the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission for Leidy South comes at an uncertain time for oil and gas pipelines across the country. Earlier this month, Dominion Energy Inc. and Duke Energy Corp. canceled the proposed Atlantic Coast gas pipeline project, citing ongoing delays and increasing cost uncertainty. Meanwhile, the future of the Dakota Access crude pipeline, three years after entering service, is increasingly unclear amid an ongoing legal battle over key water-crossing permits.