Oct 23 (Reuters) – U.S. energy regulators on Tuesday approved Dominion Energy Inc’s request to proceed with construction in parts of West Virginia as the company builds its $6 billion-$6.5 billion Atlantic Coast natural gas pipeline from West Virginia to North Carolina:
* The U.S. Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC), however, said this authorization does not include construction on National Forest Service Lands, which is the subject of a legal dispute, or in some areas where the Indiana Bat lives.
* FERC said Dominion would have to get confirmation from the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service that its activities would not harm the bats’ habitat. The bats are listed as an endangered species.
* Dominion has said it expects to complete the project as planned by the end of 2019.
* Atlantic Coast is one of several pipelines under construction to connect growing output from the Marcellus and Utica shale basins in Pennsylvania, West Virginia and Ohio to customers in other parts of the United States and Canada.
* The 600-mile pipeline is designed to carry 1.5 billion cubic feet per day (bcfd). One billion cubic feet is enough to fuel about 5 million U.S. homes for a day.
* Atlantic Coast is a partnership between units of Virginia energy company Dominion (48 percent), North Carolina energy company Duke Energy Corp (47 percent) and Georgia energy company Southern Co (5 percent). Dominion will build and operate the pipe.
* New pipelines built to remove gas from the Marcellus and Utica will enable shale drillers to boost output in the Appalachia region to a projected record high of around 29.8 bcfd in November from 26.1 bcfd during the same month a year ago, according to federal energy data.
* That represents about 36 percent of the nation’s total dry gas output of 81.1 bcfd expected on average in 2018. The Appalachia region produced just 1.6 bcfd, or 3 percent of the country’s total production, in 2008.
Reporting by Scott DiSavino Editing by James Dalgleish