TransCanada gets approval to construct shale gas pipeline projects

The US Federal Energy Regulatory Commission has issued an order approving the construction of TransCanada Corp.’s Leach XPress and Rayne XPress projects that will transport natural gas from the Marcellus and Utica regions to the Midwest and Gulf Coast.

The issuing of the certificates of public convenience and necessity follows the September release of FERC's final environmental impact statement for the projects. Once remaining regulatory approvals are obtained, TransCanada plans to begin right-of-way preparation and construction activities on both projects in February, and is reviewing the projects' overall timeline in an effort to maintain the proposed Nov. 1 in-service date.

The $1.4-billion Leach XPress will transport 1.5 bcfd of gas from the Marcellus and Utica. The 160-mile greenfield project crosses the northern panhandle of West Virginia and then traverses southeastern Ohio.

Rayne XPress primarily involves the construction of two compressor stations along TransCanada’s existing Columbia Gulf system and is designed to create an additional 1 bcfd of capacity to transport Marcellus and Utica production to the Gulf Coast.

Both projects are underpinned by long-term, fixed-fee, firm transportation service agreements.

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