Williams to expand Transco pipeline system in Pennsylvania

Williams has launched an open season for users interested in capacity on its Diamond East project, an expansion of the 10,200-mile Transco interstate pipeline to allow more Marcellus Shale gas to head to the northeast.

The project will create an additional 1 billion cubic feet per day of firm natural gas transportation capacity to markets in the northeastern U.S. by mid-2018, the Tulsa-based midstream company said.

The Diamond East Project is being designed to ship natural gas from points in Lycoming and Luzerne counties to Mercer County, N.J. The price tag of the project is estimated to be between $500 million to $800 million, depending on customer participation and volume commitments established during the open season, the company said.

The open season, which started Aug. 26, is slated to end Sept. 23.

"Diamond East is another example of Williams' commitment to add critical infrastructure that will connect growing Transco markets to abundant, economically-priced Marcellus production," said Rory Miller, senior vice president of Williams' Atlantic-Gulf Operating Area, in a statement.

"Unlike competing projects designed to serve the New Jersey market pool, Diamond East is a cost-effective expansion along an existing Transco corridor," he said.

Diamond East is subject to approval by the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission and other agencies.

The project comes in addition to the $3.3 billion in capital expenditures planned through 2017 on Transco growth projects designed to serve markets in the Northeast, according to Williams.

Stephanie Ritenbaugh: sritenbaugh@post-gazette.com or 412-263-4910

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