Williams Partners NG Pipeline to Move Forward Despite New York’s Objections

New York’s denial of a water quality permit that had blocked Williams Partners natural gas pipeline project was cleared by Federal Energy Regulatory Commission. The regulators ruled last Wednesday that the state Department of Environmental Conservation missed a one-year deadline when it rejected the permit in 2016.

After New York rejected a water quality permit over concerns for 250 streams, Williams appealed to federal courts. But after losing court challenges, Williams appealed to FERC. The 124-mile, 30-inch-wide pipeline would run from Pennsylvania’s shale gas fields to eastern New York.

The project still needs a permit from the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Williams spokesman Christopher Stockton said. He added that the project sponsors are evaluating their next steps.


Williams Partners 24-Mile Underwater Pipeline Permit Denied

New York State Department of Environmental Conservation denied a water quality permit for a 24-mile Northeast Supply Enhancement pipeline project from New Jersey to Queens. The pipeline project would expand the Transco pipeline and would allow National Grid to bring natural gas from Pennsylvania’s shale gas fields to the metropolitan region.

The pipeline was initially approved by the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission on May 3, but the environmental groups opposing the pipeline states that the pipeline will threaten marine life and extend the reliance on fossil fuels rather than renewable energy sources. Williams Partners, the pipeline developer said the project is crucial for meeting rising demand for natural gas in New York City and Long Island.

In denying the permit, the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation said the project “fails to meet New York State’s rigorous water quality standards” and “would cause impacts to habitats due to the disturbance of shellfish beds and other benthic resources.”

”Our team will be evaluating the issue and resubmitting the application quickly,” said Chris Stockton, a spokesman for Williams Partners. “We are confident that we can be responsive to this technical concern, meet our customer’s in-service date and avoid a moratorium that would have a devastating impact on the regional economy and environment.”


Williams Partners, Southern Gas Expand Pipeline Capacity to Serve Natural Gas Markets in Georgia

Williams Partners announced today that its Dalton Expansion Project, co-owned with Southern Company, is now in service to provide additional natural gas service in northwest Georgia.

The Dalton Expansion Project, approved by the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) in late 2016, is an expansion of Williams' existing Transco pipeline system. It adds 115 miles of new steel pipe from Coweta County, Georgia to delivery points in Paulding and Murray Counties, Georgia.

The Dalton Expansion Project is "one of several Transco projects creating much-needed access to gas supplies in the northern portion of Transco's system to meet growing demand in the South," said Frank Ferazzi, senior VP of Williams Partners' Atlantic-Gulf operating area.

The expansion increases capacity on the Transco pipeline system to 14.2 million dekatherms of natural gas per day.

Williams Partners

Williams Partners Expands Transco System Capacity to Meet Growing Energy Demand in Florida

Williams Partners has begun expanding the capacity of its Transco pipeline system to serve the growing Florida power generation market, announcing yesterday that it successfully put into service the first phase of the project.

The project, called the Hillabee expansion, was approved by the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) in February last year.

The project is designed to be constructed in three phases. Once completed, the expansion is expected to add a total of approximately 1,131,730 dekatherms per day to the pipeline capacity of the Transco system.

The first and completed phase occurred on the line in Alabama and expanded capacity by 818,410 dekatherms per day. The second phase is scheduled to be in service by mid 2020. The third and last phase is expected to be in service by mid 2021.

Transco is the nation's largest-volume and fastest-growing interstate natural gas pipeline system and is a wholly owned subsidiary of Williams Partners.


FERC Approves Atlantic Sunrise, Says Pipeline Will Have Limited Environmental Impact

The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) released its final environmental impact statement (EIS) on Williams Partners' proposed Atlantic Sunrise pipeline saying it will create limited environmental impacts.

The $3 billion, 185-mile natural gas transmission expansion to the Transco system is planned to connect Marcellus gas supplies in Pennsylvania with markets in the Mid-Atlantic and Southeastern U.S. according to Williams.

In its statement released on Friday, FERC stated that any environmental impacts from the pipeline would be reduced to "less than significant levels" due to mitigation measures taken by both the pipeline company and FERC.

Pleased with the final statement, Williams spokesman Chris Stockton said he believes the EIS reflects the company's "commitment to minimize impacts to people and the environment."

Williams estimates the Atlantic Sunrise pipeline to be in full service by mid 2018.

Atlantic Sunrise Expansion
State Impact Pennsylvania

Williams Partners Faces Delay of Atlantic Sunrise Pipeline Construction

Proposed Atlantic Sunrise Project Route  ( Williams )

Proposed Atlantic Sunrise Project Route (Williams)

Williams Partners faces another delay on its $3 billion Atlantic Sunrise pipeline project after a federal group pushed back a public comment period related to the pipeline’s route.

The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission had originally set its deadline to finalize an environmental review of the project for October 21 but recently pushed back the public comment period on the route to November 14 so communities have more time to consider the pipeline’s route through Pennsylvania.

The 200-mile pipeline project would be an extension on the Transco Pipeline system that runs from the Gulf of Mexico to New York City. Further, it would carry natural gas out of shale formations in the eastern U.S.

The company has been expecting a final approval from the commission by early 2017 in order to start service on the line by late 2017.

Evaluations are currently being made on an updated schedule for the commission’s environmental review.

Williams experienced a previous setback on the project when it asked FERC back in March of 2015 to issue a final order by April, 2016 in order to bring the system online by July, 2017.

According to Bloomberg Intelligence Analyst Brandon Barnes, the delay adds uncertainty to the project.

Fuel Fix

Williams Partners Plans to Bring Drilling Back to Barnett Shale Region

Williams Partners has drafted a contract with Saddle Operating, a private equity-backed company that is taking over Chesapeake Energy’s Barnett shale holdings, as an aim to revitalize natural gas exploration to the play and make wells profitable once again.

The key to this pact is tying the monthly fees Williams charges for gathering and delivering fuel to the price of gas traded on the New York Mercantile Exchange.

“As a midstream service provider, we best serve our shareholders and our upstream partners by supporting the economics of key production areas," said Alan Armstrong, chief executive officer of Williams Partners’ general partner. "These conditional agreements will help re-position the Barnett as a competitive basin for our new Barnett producer customer as current drilling and completion technologies are implemented.”

Williams is rewriting contracts as Chesapeake Energy sells its Barnett holdings to Saddle. As part of its new Barnett agreements, Williams reported it will receive $754 million that it will use toward its company debt. It will also receive $66 million from its revised contract with Chesapeake.

Williams Partners
Fuel Fix

Williams Sells Canadian Business to Inter Pipeline for $1 Billion

Williams Companies announced Monday that it has agreed to sell its Canadian business to Inter Pipeline for $1.03 billion.

Williams announced last month its interest in selling its Canadian operations as a way to bounce back after its failed merger with Energy Transfer and to slim down its operations and shrink its debts.

“We are proud of the tremendous businesses our Canadian team has built since we first began operating in Canada in 2002,” Williams’ President and Chief Executive Officer Alan Armstrong said Monday. “This transaction represents significant progress on a major component of the 2016 capital and financing plan we announced in January.”

Williams will receive approximately $209 million from the sale, and Williams Partners will receive approximately $817 million. The transactions are expected to close this year.


FERC Approves Williams Partners' Dalton Expansion Project

Williams Natural Gas Processing Plant via http://investor.williams.com/

Williams Natural Gas Processing Plant via http://investor.williams.com/

Williams Partners announced on Thursday that the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) has approved its fully contracted Dalton Expansion Project that will provide additional natural gas service to utility companies and a municipal entity in northwest Georgia.

The Dalton Expansion Project will deliver natural gas to an electric generating facility in northern Georgia, a local distribution company, and to the city of Cartersville.

“The Dalton Expansion Project is one of several Transco projects creating much-needed access to northern natural gas supplies to meet growing demand in the South, particularly in the power-generation sector,” said Rory Miller senior vice president of Williams Partners’ Atlantic-Gulf operating area.

The expansion will be Williams Partners’ third project that provides southern market area customers access to growing Marcellus and Utica supplies.

“In addition to the environmental benefits of connecting electric power generators with this cleaner energy resource, these natural gas pipeline investments produce stable, long-term returns for our business,” Miller said.

The project will consist of 115 miles of new pipeline that will extend from the Transco pipeline in Coweta County, Georgia, to new delivery points in Paulding and Murray Counties, Georgia. The new pipeline will be designed to transport approximately 448,000 dekatherms of natural gas per day.

Williams is also proposing to build a new compressor facility in Carroll County, Georgia along with three new metering facilities and other related pipe and valve modifications to existing facilities.

Construction is expected to begin in the third quarter of 2016 and be complete in 2017. The project is part of Williams Partners’ 2016 growth capital funding plan that includes $1.3 billion for Transco expansions and other interstate pipeline growth projects.


FERC Approves Williams Partners Eastern Expansion Projects

Williams Operations and Assets; Source: http://co.williams.com/expansionprojects/

The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) has given Williams Partners approval for the New York Bay expansion and Virginia Southside II expansion projects.

The New York Bay expansion project involves expanding Williams’ Transco interstate natural gas pipeline to provide additional services to New York City. Williams submitted an application in June, 2015 to FERC, who requires pipeline operators to obtain a federal Certificate of Public Convenience and Necessity, in addition to other state permits, before pipeline construction can begin.

The Virginia Southside II expansion project involves expanding the same natural gas pipeline to provide service to markets in southern Virginia during the fourth quarter of 2017. Williams submitted an application to FERC in March, 2015 for the project.

With the required FERC approval, Williams expects to begin construction on each project in the fourth quarter of this year and anticipates online service for both projects in the fourth quarter of 2017.

Oil & Gas Journal

Williams Reduces Quarterly Distributions and Looks to Finalize Canada Assets Sale

Williams Companies has cut its quarterly dividend following low energy prices, reducing its payout from 64 cents to 20 cents. This cut represents the first in at least a decade for the company, according to Bloomberg.

Williams plans to reinvest the approximately $1.7 billion that it will save from the dividend cuts into its master-limited partnership Williams Partners, which has maintained its distribution of 85 cents. Williams also expects to finalize the sale of its Canadian operations during the third quarter for more than $1 billion.

After its failed merger with Energy Transfer Equity, Williams is slowly moving forward as a standalone company and has since been debating the size and composition of its board following the resignation of six directors.

CEO Alan Armstrong said in a statement, “Our organization is fully aligned, energized and focused on simplifying the way we operate and make decisions. We are committed to executing on our projects, lowering our overall risk, and driving stockholder value by delivering on our growth strategy and strengthening our balance sheet."


PHMSA Proposes $1.6 Million in Civil Penalties for Safety Violations to Williams Partners

PHMSA on Friday proposed $1.6 million in civil penalties and issued a Notice of Probable Violation (NOPV) and a Proposed Compliance Order to Transcontinental Pipeline Company (Transco), a subsidiary of Williams Partners, for violating Federal pipeline safety regulations.

PHMSA’s actions are a result of the October 8, 2015 incident during which four Transco employees died due to a series of explosions and a fire at the Louisiana Compressor Station near Bayou Black.

After investigating the cause of the October incident, PHMSA found five alleged instances of noncompliance with Federal pipeline safety standards. These instances include the failure to report all significant facts when reporting the incident to the National Response Center and performing welding on pipeline components that contain a combustible mixture of gas and air.

PHMSA incorporated remedial actions into the Proposed Compliance Order that correspond to each alleged violation in order to ensure compliance with regulations and to improve safety. See the NOPV and Proposed Compliance Order here.

The Transco Compressor Station 62 facility is located between Gibson and Houma, Louisiana where it receives unprocessed natural gas via pipelines from offshore producers in the Gulf of Mexico.