Pittsburgh Post Gazette
In the Works Pipeline Planning, Permitting Process Underway to Get More Shale Gas to New England

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

New England wants more natural gas to heat its homes and feed its power plants, and the region is looking southwest to its neighbor in the Marcellus Shale to fill that demand.

 The region's appetite for fuel was thrown into stark relief this past winter, when frigid weeks marked by storms and polar vortexes drove temperatures down and natural gas prices up. 

Part of the problem is that the existing pipelines are already pretty full. Several pipeline projects are on the table to take more shale gas from the Marcellus and other shale plays to the region. 

Diana Oswald, energy analyst for Bentek Energy in Denver, noted that the first project to go into service is Spectra's Algonquin Incremental Market project in 2016, which means there will be little relief this upcoming winter. 

"What we saw this winter may be repeated again this winter," Ms. Oswald said. "Until November 2016, there's no new project that will provide relief to the market. 

"The Marcellus is there, but the pipes are full," Ms. Oswald said. "And you can't do a pipeline in six months. It takes roughly three to four years from idea to execution." 

Still, if all four projects announced by Spectra and Kinder Morgan are completed, New England ultimately will see about 4.1 Bcf/ d of additional natural gas capacity. 

"That's more than plenty," Ms. Oswald said. "The demand we have seen for that region is about 4 Bcf/d of peak demand in the winter." 

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