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Enbridge aims to bring Nexus on line this year

11 May 2017 20:23 (+01:00 GMT)
Enbridge aims to bring Nexus on line this year

Houston, 11 May (Argus) — US infrastructure company Enbridge aims to bring its 1.5 Bcf/d (42mn m³/d) Nexus natural gas pipeline into service by the end of 2017.

The line may start on schedule, depending on how quickly the US Senate acts on President Trump's two Republican nominations to the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC), Enbridge said. The Senate confirmations would restore a quorum at FERC and allow the agency to approve gas pipelines and review tariffs.

Nexus, which is 60pc contracted, is Enbridge's top priority at FERC. Further delays could result in the project beginning service in early 2018, the company said. The project was initially scheduled for startup in November.

"We could get underway and complete the project this year but that will depend on the Senate confirmations and the construction window," Enbridge chief executive Al Monaco said today, noting that the company is "chomping at the bit to get going."

FERC lost the three-member quorum needed for major decisions affecting pipelines and the electric sector on 3 February, when the agency's former chairman Norman Bay resigned. Since that time, FERC has had only two Democratic members.

US gas market participants closely watching projects such as Enbridge's Nexus project and the Energy Transfer's planned 3.25 Bcf/d Rover pipeline. Those projects would provide an outlet for growing gas production in the Marcellus shale and could bolster US production after last year's sharp price decline pared drilling.

Enbridge acquired rival pipeline company and Nexus project developer Spectra Energy in February for $28bn in stock.