Mountain Valley says natural gas pipeline timing depends on litigation, U.S. approvals

In this news, we discuss the Mountain Valley says natural gas pipeline timing depends on litigation, U.S. approvals.

(Reuters) – Equitrans Midstream Corp ETRN.N said on Monday it would assess the cost and timing of completing the Mountain Valley gas pipeline based on pending litigation and upcoming federal approvals.

The U.S. Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) on Friday gave Mountain Valley permission to resume construction of its $ 5.4 billion to $ 5.7 billion pipeline, which runs from Virginia to West Virginia.

“As the litigation process progresses and we receive additional information from FERC regarding the possibility of releasing the remainder of the route for construction, (Mountain Valley) will continue to assess its current construction plans, its budget and schedule, ”said Equitrans.

Mountain Valley is one of many US oil and gas pipelines delayed by regulatory and legal battles with environmental and local groups that have encountered problems with federal permits issued by the Trump administration.

FERC suspended work on Mountain Valley a year ago due to a dispute over the US Fish and Wildlife Service’s (FWS) biological notice of the project, which allows construction in areas inhabited by endangered species. disappeared and threatened.

The FWS published a new organic advisory in early September. Environmental groups and others continue to challenge the latest FWS approval and other federal permits in court.

Height Capital Markets analysts said they expected the project to go live in mid-2021, but noted the timing could move to the third quarter of 2021 if legal challenges prevent some price crossings. of water.

“We recognize the legal challenge currently before the Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals and have agreed to temporarily delay the activities of streams and bodies of water out of respect for this process,” Equitrans said.

Equitrans said it expects the pipeline, which is around 92% complete, to come into service in early 2021.

In February 2018, when Equitrans began construction, it estimated Mountain Valley would cost around $ 3.5 billion and be completed by the end of 2018.

Reporting by Scott DiSavino; Editing by Alexander Smith and Steve Orlofsky

Original © Thomson Reuters

Originally posted 2020-10-12 12:36:09.

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