With the withdrawal of the pre-filing application for the proposed Access Northeast pipeline expansion, no new major pipeline expansions are under consideration to relieve constraints on natural gas delivery to the Northeast, the U.S. Energy Information Administration said in its Natural Gas Weekly Update.
Algonquin Gas Transmission, a unit of Enbridge Inc. (NYSE: ENB) withdrew its application with the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) on June 29. The $3.2 billion project would have expanded or upgraded about 125 miles of the Algonquin Pipeline system, which moves natural gas to the Boston area from an interconnect with the Texas Eastern Pipeline in New Jersey. The expansion would have added about 1 billion cubic feet per day (Bcf/d) of capacity to the pipeline, which has capacity of about 3.1 Bcf/d.
However, the project, originally proposed by Spectra Energy Partners LP in 2015 before its acquisition by Enbridge, developing financing issues. The Massachusetts Department of Public Utilities (DPU) approved a surcharge on customers to recoup associated costs of construction, but that decision was overruled by the Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court. That has made it difficult for the project to secure customers.
The project also proposed construction of a 6.8 Bcf LNG storage facility to provide gas to electricity generators at peak times.
Natural gas supplies almost half of the region’s electricity generation.
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