FERC approves shale gas pipeline to New York, New England

FERC approves shale gas pipeline to New York, New England

The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) has approved the proposed interstate pipeline project that would bring Marcellus Shale natural gas from Pennsylvania to New England and New York, provided it meets environmental conditions.

The $700-million project involves laying of 124 miles of 30-inch-diameter pipeline to connect gas production in Susquehanna County to readily available transmission lines in New York.

The project would jointly be operated by subsidiaries of Williams Partners, Cabot Oil & Gas, WGL Holdings, and Piedmont Natural Gas.

In an Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) released in October this year, the federal regulators determined that the pipeline would have some adverse impact on environments. The operators have been instructed to submit various mitigation plans before starting the construction work to avoid impacts on sensitive areas and wildlife.

Chris Stockton, a spokesperson for Williams Partners, said, "We're doing everything we can and working hard to get everything lined up."

Construction could start by the start of second quarter of 2015 and the pipeline could start operating by the end of next year, if the project is not challenged by environmentalists in a court.