March 17, 2016: the deal is announced -- TransCanada will buy Columbia for $10.2 billion. It looks like Warren Buffett missed a deal.Today, from Platts: Columbia gets FERC sign-off for 1.3 Bcf/d WB XPress pipeline project.
Columbia Gas Transmission won certificate approval Friday from the US Federal Energy Regulatory Commission for the 29-mile, 1.3 Bcf/d WB XPress natural gas pipeline project.It's "funny" how things work out. Although the Keystone XL is important for a number of reasons, in the big scheme of things, with regard to pipelines, the big story for the US has been and will be natural gas pipelines.
The project will increase capacity along Columbia's existing WB Line, which runs bi-directionally through West Virginia and the northern part of Virginia.
The project will pick up gas around Braxton County, West Virginia, and deliver 500 MMcf/d eastbound into interconnects with Cove Point Pipeline and Transcontinental Gas Pipe Line as well as sending 800 MMcf/d westbound into interconnects with Tennessee Gas at Broad Run and existing Columbia infrastructure including Columbia Gas Appalachia Pool.
The FERC action came after Columbia parent TransCanada recently warned FERC of pressure on its schedules for WB XPress and its 171-mile, 2.7 Bcf/d Mountaineer XPress project without prompt approval, particularly as an environmental window controlling timing of tree clearing had already opened.
US refiners need heavy oil -- two sources: Canada and Venezuela. But US refiners will get the heavy oil they need -- it may be just more expensive than necessary.
The real story right now: natural gas pipelines. And fortunately the current administration and FERC support natural gas pipelines.