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FERC authorizes partial service for Columbia Gas' WB XPress

Federal Energy Regulatory Commission staff authorized Columbia Gas Transmission LLC to place portions of its 1.3-MMDth/d WB XPress natural gas pipeline project into service.

Staff wrote in an Oct. 4 letter to the TransCanada Corp. subsidiary that the project's western facilities — which include pipelines, a receiver site, a compressor station and a valve site in West Virginia — can begin operating after Columbia stabilized areas disturbed by construction.

The entire project, estimated to cost about $780 million when Columbia Gas applied for approval in 2015, calls for 26.2 miles of various-diameter replacement pipeline, 3.1 miles of new pipeline, two new compressor stations and modifications to seven compressor stations and a metering station. When complete, it will connect Appalachian shale to West Virginia and Virginia, providing bidirectional gas transportation service and boosting transportation capacity to a local distribution company and interstate pipelines.

FERC authorized Columbia to begin construction on WB XPress in December 2017. (FERC docket CP16-38)