FERC approves Pennsylvania-New York gas pipeline lateral project

The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission on March 10 approved a March 2014 application from Empire Pipeline Inc. and National Fuel Gas Supply Corp.

Empire sought authority to construct and operate a 17-mile-long lateral from Tioga County, Pennsylvania, to National Fuel’s Tuscarora Compressor Station in Addison, Steuben County, New York, to connect its system to National Fuel’s system and to replace, if necessary, one or both centrifugal wheels at its existing Oakfield Compressor Station in Genesee County, New York (called the Tuscarora Lateral Project).

National Fuel proposes to add a 1,380-horsepower compressor unit to its existing Tuscarora Compressor Station and to lease to Empire capacity sufficient to provide 55,000 dekatherms (Dth) per day of firm transportation service and 3,300,000 Dth of firm storage service with injection rights up to 27,500 Dth per day and withdrawal rights up to 55,000 Dth per day.

Rochester Gas and Electric (RG&E) is one of Empire’s largest firm shippers, with a firm contract for the transportation of 172,500 Dth per day from TransCanada at Chippawa to RG&E’s city-gate delivery point at Mendon, New York. The primary term of RG&E’s current agreement expires on Oct/ 31, 2015. To replace the existing firm transportation agreement, Empire and RG&E have entered into a 10-year precedent agreement for firm, no-notice transportation and storage services under Empire’s proposed Rate Schedules FTNN (Firm Transportation No-Notice) and FSNN (Firm Storage No Notice), respectively.

Under the new agreement, the maximum daily transportation quantity would remain at 172,500 Dth per day, but this quantity would be composed of 117,500 Dth per day of firm transportation from Chippawa to Mendon, New York, and 55,000 Dth per day of firm storage-related transportation from the proposed interconnection between Empire and National Fuel at the Tuscarora Compressor Station to the Mendon city-gate. Empire would also provide to RG&E 3,300,000 Dth of storage service.

New York State Electric and Gas (NYSEG) is also a firm shipper on Empire, with a firm contract for transportation of 34,816 Dth per day from TransCanada at Chippawa to its city-gate delivery points at Arcadia (20,000 Dth per day) and Royalton, New York (14,816 Dth per day). The primary term of NYSEG’s agreement also expires on Oct. 31, 2015. To replace the existing firm transportation agreement, Empire and NYSEG have entered into a five-year precedent agreement for firm, no-notice transportation service under Empire’s proposed Rate Schedule FTNN.

Under the new agreement, the maximum daily transportation quantity would remain at 34,816 Dth per day, with no changes to the delivery points, but the receipt point for 14,816 Dth per day of service would be moved from Chippawa to Empire’s interconnection with Millennium at Corning.

To transport gas to and from the leased capacity on National Fuel’s system for RG&E, Empire proposes to construct and operate a pipeline, to be known as the Tuscarora Lateral, from a tie-in at National Fuel’s Tuscarora Compressor Station in Steuben County, New York, southeast to a tie-in at the southern end of Empire’s Tioga County Extension in the Town of Jackson, Tioga County, Pennsylvania. The pipeline will consist of 0.77 miles of 16-inch-diameter pipeline and 16.23 miles of 12-inch-diameter pipeline for a combined length of approximately 17 miles. The tie-ins will include measurement and pressure control equipment and a pig launcher-receiver. The estimated cost of the facilities is $32.6 million.

To enable Empire to use the storage and transportation capacity to be leased on National Fuel’s system, National Fuel requested authority to add compression and related facilities at its Tuscarora Compressor Station to fulfill its receipt and delivery obligations under the lease. 

About Barry Cassell 20414 Articles
Barry Cassell is Chief Analyst for GenerationHub covering coal and emission controls issues, projects and policy. He has covered the coal and power generation industry for more than 24 years, beginning in November 2011 at GenerationHub and prior to that as editor of SNL Energy’s Coal Report. He was formerly with Coal Outlook for 15 years as the publication’s editor and contributing writer, and prior to that he was editor of Coal & Synfuels Technology and associate editor of The Energy Report. He has a bachelor’s degree from Central Michigan University.