FERC Friday issued a favorable environmental assessment to Transcontinental Gas Pipe Line for its proposed 308,500 Dth/d system expansion to serve natural gas markets in the Southeast.

“Approval of the proposed project, with appropriate mitigating measures, would not constitute a major federal action significantly affecting the quality of the human environment,” staff of the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission said of Transco’s 85 North Expansion Project [CP09-57].

The Williams pipeline subsidiary proposes to construct three 42-inch diameter pipeline loops with a combined length of approximately 22.06 miles adjacent to its existing system in Alabama and South and North Carolina, as well as add a new 20,500-hp compressor station in Anderson County, SC, and modify eight existing compressor stations in Mississippi, Alabama, Georgia and South and North Carolina (see Daily GPI, Feb. 3).

New Service from the 85 North project would be available in two phases, subject to FERC approval. Phase I would increase capacity by 90,000 Dth/d by the summer of 2010, while Phase II would increase capacity by 218,500 Dth/d by the summer of 2011, according to Tulsa, OK-based Williams. It estimates that the 85 North project will cost approximately $248 million.

Combined with its Mobile Bay South II project, the 85 North expansion creates over half a Bcf of takeaway capacity from Station 85 in west-central Alabama to downstream markets, according to Williams. It noted that the project is positioned to provide Transco customers with access to more than 3 Bcf/d of new domestic and liquefied natural gas (LNG) supplies at Station 85 over the next few years.

The Mobile Bay South II expansion would offer year-round firm service on Transco’s Mobile Bay Lateral from Station 85 as far south as an existing interconnection with Gulfstream Natural Gas System in Mobile County, AL. The compression-only expansion is expected to provide up to 550,000 Dth/d of capacity as early as May 2011.

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