October 26, 2018 / 4:22 PM / 18 days ago

U.S. OKs wider startup of Enbridge Ohio-Michigan NEXUS natgas pipe

Oct 26 (Reuters) - U.S. energy regulators on Friday approved part of Canadian energy company Enbridge Inc’s request to put more of its $2.6 billion NEXUS natural gas pipeline from Ohio to Michigan into service.

In a filing, the U.S. Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) said it approved the company’s request to put the Clyde compressor station in Sandusky County, Ohio, into service, but not the Wadsworth compressor in Medina County, Ohio.

FERC said once NEXUS demonstrates restoration progress at Wadsworth, it would reconsider the company’s request to put that facility in service.

Enbridge sought FERC permission to put both compressors into service on Oct. 19.

NEXUS is one of several gas pipelines designed to connect growing output in the Marcellus and Utica shale basins in Pennsylvania, West Virginia and Ohio with customers in other parts of the United States and Canada.

Earlier in October, FERC allowed Enbridge to put facilities into service that would enable NEXUS to transport about 0.97 billion cubic feet per day (bcfd).

One billion cubic feet of gas is enough to fuel about 5 million homes for a day.

Once the 255-mile (410-km) NEXUS project is fully in service, it will be able to carry up to 1.5 bcfd of gas from the Marcellus and Utica shale fields to the U.S. Midwest and Gulf Coast and Ontario in Canada.

NEXUS is a partnership between Enbridge and Michigan energy company DTE Energy Inc.

Separately, Enbridge said it put part of its $200 million Texas Eastern Appalachian Lease (TEAL) gas pipeline project into service earlier in October.

TEAL is an expansion of Enbridge’s Texas Eastern system designed to deliver 0.95 bcfd to NEXUS.

When it started construction of NEXUS in late 2017, Enbridge estimated it would be able to complete TEAL and NEXUS in the third quarter of 2018.

Enbridge said it completed NEXUS in September when it asked FERC for permission to put part of the pipeline into service.

New pipelines built to remove gas from Appalachia have enabled shale drillers there to boost output to an estimated record high of around 29.8 bcfd in November from 26.1 bcfd during the same month a year ago.

That represents about 36 percent of the nation’s total dry gas output of 81.1 bcfd expected on average in 2018. The Appalachia region produced just 1.6 bcfd, or 3 percent of the country’s total production, in 2008.

Reporting by Scott DiSavino; Editing by Richard Chang

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