AGT Withdraws FERC Application For Pipeline Expansion

Project would have expanded pipeline serving New England area

Access Northeast
The proposed changes to the Access Northeast pipeline. AGT withdrew its application with FERC. Source: Enbridge Inc.

Enbridge’s Algonquin Gas Transmission (AGT) has withdrawn its pre-filing application with the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) for the proposed Access Northeast pipeline expansion, according to the U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA). The US$3.2 billion proposal sought to upgrade or expand about 125 miles (201 km) of the Algonquin pipeline system, which supplies natural gas to the New England area.

The move to withdraw came on June 29, in response to challenges the project had with securing transportation contracts with electricity generators. The project would have added about 1 Bcfd (28.3 X 106 m3/d) of peak day capacity to the Algonquin pipeline’s existing 3.1 Bcfd (87.8 X 106 m3/d) peak day capacity, the EIA said. It also included a US$600 million 6.8 Bcf (193 X 106 m3) liquefied natural gas (LNG) storage facility to supply natural gas to electricity generators during peak demand.

Spectra Energy Partners initially proposed Access Northeast in 2015. The New England region has seen a surge in natural gas demand, which has caused pipeline constraints on cold winter days. From 2000 to 2016, natural gas has gone from making up 20% of the region’s electrical supply to nearly 50%, the EIA said.

While FERC is without any further major pipeline expansions for the region, the New England area obtains nearly 6.5 Bcfd (184 X 106 m3/d) of natural gas from five pipeline systems, one of which is the Algonquin Incremental Market project, the EIA said. It became operational in 2016 and was the first pipeline addition to the area since 2010. Additionally, the Atlantic Bridge project, which will add about 0.13 Bcfd (3.7 X 106 m3/d) of capacity to the Algonquin pipeline system, received a Certificate of Convenience and Necessity by FERC in January, the EIA said. Initial service is scheduled for the second half of 2017.