Surging natural gas production in the Marcellus and Utica shales are moving in nearly every direction.
Previous increases in takeaway capacity out of the Appalachian basin were largely upgrades and expansions of existing transmission lines.
However, as more takeaway capacity is needed, midstream operators are turning to ‘greenfield’ projects (new pipeline construction) to deliver natural gas to new, high demand markets throughout the eastern United States.
The following is a sampling of natural gas transmission projects that have been proposed or are under regulatory review in and around Pennsylvania.
The focus is on projects that contain a significant amount of greenfield pipeline rather than upgrades or expansion of existing pipelines:
Atlantic Sunrise Expansion (Williams)
The Atlantic Sunrise Expansion includes 178 miles of new greenfield pipe in Pennsylvania divided into two sections – Central Penn North (Susquehanna, Wyoming, Luzerne and Columbia counties) and Central Penn South (Columbia, Schuylkill, Lebanon and Lancaster counties).
The Atlantic Sunrise also includes two pipeline loops, totaling 12 miles in Pennsylvania and additional pipeline and compression upgrades in four other states (Maryland, Virginia, North Carolina, and South Carolina).
The project will add 1.7 Bcf/day of takeaway capacity out of the northeastern Marcellus area when it comes online in the second half of 2017 (anticipated).
Constitution Pipeline (Williams)
The 124-mile Constitution Pipeline is proposed to extend from Susquehanna County to Schoharie County, NY. The proposed route would be generally along the I88 corridor through Upstate New York.
The project would have a capacity of 0.65 Bcf/day to meet incremental demand in New England and the greater northeastern United States.
The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) issued a draft environmental impact statement for the proposed project in February.
Williams has a target in-service date is late 2015 to 2016 and has partnered with Cabot Oil & Gas, Piedmont Natural Gas and WGL Holdings to develop the project.
Marcellus to North Carolina Proposal (Spectra Energy)
While not yet officially named, Spectra Energy has proposed a new 427-mile pipeline from Bedford County through Maryland, West Virginia and Virginia, ending near Fayetteville, NC.
The $4.0 billion, 1.1 Bcf/day project is a response to a Duke Energy/Piedmont Natural Gas request for proposals to bring natural gas to its customers in the Southeast. Spectra has indicated a tentative in-service date of late 2018.
Northeast Energy Direct (NED) Project (Kinder Morgan)
Tennessee Gas Pipeline Company, a subsidiary of Kinder Morgan, is proposing the Northeast Energy Direct Project from Troy through Upstate New York into Massachusetts to meet growing demand in the New England.
The project includes 246 miles of greenfield pipe, plus an additional 100 miles of looping on existing lines and compression upgrades. Capacity could be as much as 2.2 Bcf/day pending interest from customers in New England and eastern Canada.
The proposed project is estimated to be placed in service by November of 2018.
Southern Reliability Project (Dominion)
Dominion has proposed building a 450-mile pipeline to bring natural gas from the Appalachian Basin to markets in Virginia and North Carolina.
The proposed $2 billion project would run from a Dominion Transmission pipeline in Harrison County, W. Va. through Virginia to Lumberton, NC. Construction would likely begin in 2017 with an expected in-service date of late 2018.
Proposed projects can, and often do, experience major changes in route and in-service dates.
By Dave Messersmith, Extension Educator Messersmith is a part of Penn State’s Marcellus Education Team and has lectured nationally and internationally on the topic of shale gas development and natural gas pipelines.