Williams Approved for Pipeline for Shale Gas
Williams Cos has won approval from the U.S. to construct its Atlantic Sunrise $3 billion natural gas pipeline in the Northeast, which ends a review that lasted close to two years and causes numerous delays in its project.
The pipeline of 200 miles will expand the shipments from shale formations in an amount to serve over 7 million homes, said a Williams spokesperson.
The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission gave its approval of the pipeline on Friday hours prior to the scheduled resignation of Norman Bay the commissioner, whose departure leaves the agency with less than the necessary for a quorum needed to vote on major decisions.
The decision also spared Williams any further delay following delays of over 670 days. Last year, stocks for both Williams and would be shipper for the project Cabot Oil and Gas, plunged due to speculation that this expansion would face additional setback by regulators.
The time necessary to gain approval of these types of pipelines has increased to over 429 days from the previous 359 days over the last three years as opposition groups for the environment have succeeded in slowing down the approval system.
Williams announced through a Friday prepared statement that it was happy the agency approved the much needed project for energy infrastructure.
The company also said it was planning to begin construction on the project’s main portion sometime during the middle of this year, establishing a path where more gas can flow to markets on the Eastern Seaboard in time for the winter heating season of 2017-18.
Construction on other parts of the project, of which one is known as the Central Penn Line has been scheduled to start after June allowing the company to bring the full capacity of the pipeline expansion into service by the middle of 2018.
Williams is amongst pipeline developers in the U.S. proposing huge expansions of gas pipeline systems in the U.S. to accommodate the supplies flowing from the Utica and Marcellus shale basins in the east. Production there outpaced the capacity to have the fuel delivered to markets.
If this review had dragged on to after Bay had left, Williams would have had to wait months according to an analysts specializing in the industry.
It might take as many as 60 days before to the new White House administration fills the vacancy for the energy commissions to restore its quorum.