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FERC approves TransCanada pipelines

Published by
World Pipelines,

TransCanada Corporation (TransCanada) has recently announced that the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) has approved the construction of the Leach XPress and Rayne XPress pipeline projects.

The projects will provide additional outlets to transport domestic, clean burning natural gas from the Marcellus and Utica production areas to the higher value Midwest and Gulf Coast markets.

The issuing of the certificates of public convenience and necessity follows the September release of FERC's final environmental impact statement for the projects. Once remaining regulatory approvals are obtained, TransCanada plans to begin right-of-way preparation and construction activities on both projects in February.

The company is currently reviewing the projects' overall timeline in an effort to maintain the proposed 1 November 2017 in-service date.

"Approval of Leach XPress and Rayne XPress follows a very thorough review by the FERC," said Stan Chapman, TransCanada's Senior Vice President and General Manager of US Natural Gas Pipelines. "These projects will create critically needed connectivity between the prolific, but constrained, Marcellus and Utica shale production areas and higher value markets. The projects will also create significant new jobs and tax revenues for communities along the projects' routes."

Leach XPress will allow for the safe transportation of approximately 1.5 billion ft3/d of natural gas from the Marcellus and Utica supply basin. The 160 mile project will cross the northern panhandle of West Virginia before traversing southeastern Ohio.

Rayne XPress primarily involves the construction of two new compressor stations along TransCanada's existing Columbia Gulf system. The project is designed to create an additional 1 billion ft3/d of capacity to efficiently transport Marcellus and Utica production to markets in the Gulf Coast region and beyond.

Both projects are underpinned by long term, fixed fee, firm transportation service agreements. They will be designed, constructed and operated with a core focus on safety and minimising environmental impact.

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