Energy Transfer on April 8 escalated its dispute over a Williams Cos. natural gas project, petitioning the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) to determine whether the Louisiana Energy Gateway is an interstate pipeline developed without the commission’s approval.

“LEG looks like a transmission pipeline, will apparently operate like a transmission pipeline and its developer talks about it like it’s a transmission pipeline—but despite all that, Williams insists it’s a gathering line,” Dallas-based Energy Transfer contended in its 1,600-page filing.

The company also asks the regulator to decide whether a seven-factor test should be applied to determine whether Louisiana Energy Gateway is a gathering or transmission line as defined by the National Gas Act. A gathering line would not fall under FERC’s jurisdiction, but a transmission line would.

The 1.8-Bcf/d capacity project is designed to move natural gas from the Haynesville Shale to coastal Louisiana LNG export terminals beginning in 2025. The dispute with Energy Transfer has forced Williams to adjust its pipeline routes and push back its start date from fourth-quarter 2024.

“But we are pushing ahead and the project’s actually going fairly well,” Williams CEO Alan Armstrong told journalists last month at CERAWeek by S&P Global.

In a statement to Bloomberg, Williams said “Energy Transfer’s FERC complaint is another step by Energy Transfer to stifle competition in Louisiana. Williams looks forward to working with FERC on this matter.”

Energy Transfer co-CEO Thomas Long acknowledged during the company’s first-quarter earnings call with analysts that it had been accused of stifling competition by refusing right-of-way access on projects that would cross Energy Transfer’s pipelines. The company also seeks to expand its Gulf Run system to transport gas to LNG terminals.