EQT Corp. (NYSE: EQT) and NextEra US Gas Assets LLC, an indirect, wholly owned subsidiary of NextEra Energy Inc. (NYSE: NEE) have begun a non-binding open season for the Mountain Valley Pipeline project, which is expected to connect Marcellus and Utica natural gas supply to demand markets in the Southeast region of the US.
The companies also announced the signing of a letter of intent to form a joint venture that is expected to construct and own the Mountain Valley Pipeline. Under the letter of intent, EQT is expected to (through one or more of its affiliates, including EQT Midstream Partners LP), operate the pipeline and own a majority interest in the joint venture.
Subject to FERC approval, the 330-mile Mountain Valley Pipeline project will extend the Equitrans transmission system from Wetzel County, West Virginia; and travel south to its expected primary delivery point, Transcontinental Gas Pipeline Co.’s (Transco’s) Zone 5 compressor station 165 in Pittsylvania County, Virginia. In addition to the primary delivery point, the Mountain Valley Pipeline has numerous potential interconnects with pipelines and processing facilities; and shippers will have the option to request a project extension to delivery points further south into North Carolina. The Mountain Valley Pipeline is expected to initially provide at least two billion cubic feet per day of firm transmission capacity.
Including EQT, the open season has commitments from two foundation shippers that, combined, have agreed to 1 Bcf per day of firm transmission capacity through 20-year contracts on the Mountain Valley Pipeline. Delivery to Transco Station 165 is expected to be in service by the fourth quarter of 2018.
The open season was filed by Equitrans LP, a subsidiary of EQT Midstream Partners; however, the ultimate EQT affiliate to own and/or operate the pipeline will be determined at a future date. EQT is the general partner of and also owns a 32% limited partner interest in EQT Midstream Partners.