National Fuel, Empire seek approval of northeast U.S. gas pipeline project

National Fuel Gas Supply Corp. and Empire Pipeline Inc. applied March 17 at the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission for a certificate of public convenience and necessity authorizing the construction and operation of facilities comprising their Northern Access 2016 Project, and for the requisite authorization to abandon certain related facilities.

The applicants requested expedited review of the instant application and the issuance of the authorizations requested herein no later than Dec. 31, 2015. The issuance of the requested authorizations by that date will allow them to place the project in-service by Nov. 1, 2016, the in-service date requested by the project’s foundation shipper, Seneca Resources Corp.

National Fuel is seeking authorization to construct and operate, among various project elements:

  • Mainline Pipeline – National Fuel proposes to construct approximately 96.65 miles of new 24-inch outside diameter (OD) natural gas transmission pipeline from an interconnection with NFG Midstream Clermont LLC at Sergeant Township, Pennsylvania, to a tie-in with National Fuel’s existing Line X-North, near National Fuel’s existing Porterville Compressor Station (“Porterville C.S.”) in the Town of Elma, New York. The construction of the Mainline Pipeline, together with the modification of National Fuel’s Porterville C.S. will create additional capacity on National Fuel’s pipeline system that is required for the transportation of additional Marcellus Shale gas production. In connection with the construction of the Mainline Pipeline, National Fuel would also install thirteen main line valves (MLVs) in accordance with Department of Transportation (DOT) regulations, and pig launchers/receivers. The estimated cost of the Mainline Pipeline work for National Fuel is approximately $335 million.
  • Porterville Compressor Station Modification – The additional transportation services will require the installation of approximately 5,350 HP of compression at the existing Porterville C.S. in the Town of Elmira, New York, including two reciprocating compressor units. The existing station currently has 600 HP of installed compression. The proposed modifications will permit National Fuel to deliver an incremental 357,000 Dth per day from a new receipt point with NFG Midstream Clermont in Sergeant Township, Pennsylvania, to an interconnection with Empire in Wheatfield, New York, at sufficient pressure to enter Empire’s system.
  • TGP Interconnect Station – National Fuel proposes to construct a new metering and regulation (M&R) station in the Town of Wales, New York. The M&R station will contain meter, regulating, and flow control facilities housed in a building, associated above and below ground piping, and valve fixtures to tie in to the Mainline Pipeline and the existing Tennessee Gas Pipeline Co. LLC (TGP) 200 Line. This station will also require electric power, communications, and a stand-by generator. The proposed interconnection will permit National Fuel to deliver 140,000 Dth per day from a new receipt point with NFG Midstream Clermont in Sergeant Township, Pennsylvania, to TGP’s 200 Line.

All of the incremental capacity associated with the proposed facilities is fully subscribed under a long-term contract. National Fuel held an open season in June 2014. Pursuant to the open season, National Fuel entered into a precedent agreement Seneca Resources and subsequently entered into the Amended and Restated Precedent Agreement. Seneca has subscribed for 497,000 Dth per day of firm transportation from a new receipt point with NFG Midstream Clermont to be established in Sergeant Township, Pennsylvania; 357,000 Dth per day of this service will have a primary delivery point at National Fuel’s proposed interconnection with Empire in Wheatfield, New York (the “Empire Quantity”), and the remaining 140,000 Dth per day will have the above-described TGP 200 Line interconnection as a primary delivery point (the “Additional Quantity”).

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.